Swedish Interior Minister Mikael Damberg has suggested that new dives for the sunken Estonia ship should be allowed if accident investigators are convinced of their necessity.
According to Damberg, who commented on the matter with the Swedish broadcaster SVT, Sweden could then contribute to the removal of the grave peace declared for Estonia.
The car ferry to Estonia sank 26 years ago.
852 people died and 137 were saved.
At the end of September, footage came to light showing a previously unreported rupture on the side of the ship.
“We need to find out how the hole came about and find out how it affected the accident,” Damberg said.
On Tuesday, information came to light that Estonia has asked Sweden to agree to new dives into the Estonian wreck.
The letter from Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu states that Estonia wants to be examined in what position Estonia currently lies at the bottom, what kind of holes there are in the body and when they were born.
Damberg did not yet mention the dives in his reply to the Estonian Foreign Minister, but emphasized the importance of preserving the grave.
Accident investigators from Finland, Estonia and Sweden are investigating whether the findings of the final report of the Estonian Commission of Inquiry should be re-evaluated.
Helsingin Sanomat previously reported on the new issue of the Minister of the Interior, Damberg, in Finland.
"The End of the Encounter"
Tuomo Karppinen, who once sat on the International Commission of Inquiry into the Estonia Accident, considers Damberg's policy to be good.
- Accident investigators must now calmly examine the new footage and consider what may have caused the rupture.
Based on the outcome of the accident investigators, it can then be decided whether new dives are needed, Karppinen told STT.
Karppinen emphasizes that the new report must be convincing.
- It would be desirable for this 25-year-long confrontation to end.
This is already starting to get tiring, Karppinen said.
In a statement published in September, Karppinen and Heimo Iivonen, another former Finnish member of the Estonia Accident Investigation Commission, estimated that a hole in Estonia's side had been created when the ship sank to the bottom of the sea.
According to Karppinen and Iivonen, it is clear that when a heavy passenger ship collapses and hits the seabed, the ship is damaged.
Explanation for metallic sounds
An interview with Yasmina Olby, who was saved from Estonia, appeared in the Swedish Expressen on Tuesday, in which she criticized the attitude of accident investigators towards the hole found on the Estonian side.
Olby says he heard a loud metallic sound before sinking, which he said could indicate the formation of a hole.
According to Olby, researchers have not taken sufficient account of his findings in their research.
Karppinen says he read the interrogation reports of Olby - aka former Yasmina Weidinger - immediately after the accident.
According to him, Olby's own survival of the accident speaks against the fact that the opening now found on the side of the ship would have caused Estonia to sink.
Olby was traveling on the ship in the cabins below the car deck, and the rupture now observed, according to Karppinen, extends below the car deck.
- He was traveling in cabin 1027, and the rupture now observed is approximately at cabin 1028.
If there had been a hole at that point at the time, he would not be telling us his findings now, Karppinen said.
According to Karppinen, more than 20 of those who traveled in the cabins under the Estonian car deck were saved from the accident.
Six of these passengers traveled in cabins near the now-observed rupture.
- None of them said they saw a massive amount of water entering the ship.
They left the cabins because they noticed the ship was starting to heel, Karppinen said.
He recalls that the opening now observed would have become several cubes of water in a second, which could not have gone unnoticed by the passengers in the cabins under the car deck.
- This hole is not the cause of its accident, Karppinen summed up.
According to Karppinen, the metallic sounds heard by Olby match well with the sounds caused by the movement of the ship's bow visor.
- The bow visor moved and beat, broke and tore the steel.
That took about a quarter of an hour.
Metallic sounds were born in it.