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Archived Articles 01 Dec 2006 Heikki H. TannEWR
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STOCKHOLM (EE) — On January 15, 1993, the Estonian-Swedish joint company Estline Maritime Co Ltd purchased the ferry ship "Wasa King", the biggest ferry-type vessel sailing on the Baltic Sea, from Silja Line and renamed her "Estonia".

In operating the vessel the responsibilities in the named Estonian Swedish joint company were divided as follows: technical order of the ship were the responsibility of the Swedish party Nordström & Thulin, and the crew and service were the responsibility area of the Estonian party Estonian Shipping Company.

Right after the purchase the local office of Bureau Veritas made a control examination on "Estonia". The fore-visor no longer corresponded to the 'Solas' regulations and conditions, prompting them to demand from Nordström & Thulin that they build an additional ramp partition at least 4 meters from the fore-visor which would prevent the car-deck from flooding by the seawater if the visor should accidentally open.

But Nordström & Thulin did not take this demand by the Bureau Veritas into account as they were interested only in sending" Estonia" onto the sea to make money.

And this occurred to be fatal on the night of September 28, 1994, when the visor opened in the stormy night and huge masses of water broke into the interior of the ship in its turn caused the shipwreck of "Estonia"and death of 852 passengers.

This scandal, where Nordström & Thulin did not follow the prescribed regulations of the Bureau Veritas was closely followed in the Swedish press after the catastrophe.

The "Estonia" disaster is still in the news in late 2006, and answers are still hard to find.
 
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