Swedish prosecutors to reopen 1994 ferry sinking investigation


Survivors demand probe of sunken Estonia ferry


Swedish prosecutors said on Tuesday they had received a request to reopen an investigation into the 1994 sinking of the ferry Estonia that killed 852 people, based on new information that appeared in a documentary.

The official investigation into the deadliest peacetime shipwreck in European waters of modern times reached the conclusion in 1997 that the bow ramp of the ferry had failed during a storm, flooding the car deck and causing the vessel to sink.

A Discovery Network documentary in September has prompted some survivors and relatives of victims to demand a new investigation. The film included underwater video images from the wreck site, showing previously undisclosed damage to the starboard side of the ferry.

“A request has been submitted to the Prosecution Authority that the preliminary investigation from the 1990s on Estonia’s sinking should be reopened as new circumstances have appeared,” Swedish prosecutors said in a statement.

The statement quoted Prosecutor Karolina Wieslander as saying the request referred to “information in the recently aired TV documentary”.

Estonia, a roll-on roll-off ferry, carried 803 passengers and 186 crew when it sank on a stormy Baltic Sea shortly after midnight on Sept. 28, 1994.