`Estonia' inquiry says bow locks mainly to blame
Saturday 18 March 1995
"This commission isn't a prosecutor," Andi Meister, chairman of the three- nation commission, said in Tallinn. "We're not here to assess blame." A draft report indicated badly designed door locks and the weak steel construction of the bow-door visor were among the primary causes of the Estonia disaster, which cost more than 800 lives.
Meyer-Werft, the German shipyard that built the Estonia in 1979, reacted angrily to reports putting the blame on it, saying a collision with an unknown object was the maincause. It suggested the crew did not do enough to try to save the 15,000-ton ship.
Members of the commission refused to confirm reports about the main causes of the tragedy, but admitted they were focusing on construction and the bow- door locks. The commission's report is to be released on 7 April. Borje Stenstrom, a Swedish member of the commission, said when the conclusions are made, no one factor or person would bear all responsibility.
"It will have to be seen as a combination of many things," Mr Stenstrom said. "The design, the weather, the speed of the boat ... that kind of thing." He dismissed the idea that ship- builders should have anticipated the dangers when they designed the bow door and locks.
The Swedish investigator said while more stringent construction rules were developed in 1981, two years after the Estonia was built, there was no obligation to refit the ship.
From early on after the accident, speculation focused on the ferry's bow visor, a huge top-hinged door at the front of the ferry that swung up to allow vehicles to drive in and out of the ship's car-deck. The bow visor was secured by several locks. The lower lock, known as the Atlantic lock, was too weak to withstand extremely heavy pounding by rough seas, press reports have cited the commission as saying.
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 What are your fingerprint words?
Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Jennifer Lawrence: Leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by users
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...
£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...