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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 September, 2004, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Estonia ferry disaster remembered
Estonians light candles and place flowers at the memorial to the Estonia in Tallinn
Victims' relatives want a new inquiry into the disaster to be held
The people of Estonia, Finland and Sweden are marking the 10th anniversary of the sinking of the ferry Estonia, in which 852 people died.

Victims' relatives and politicians have renewed calls for a new inquiry to be held into the causes of the accident.

A previous investigation in 1997 blamed the locking devices on the bow visor door as the main cause of the tragedy.

In all, people from 17 countries lost their lives in Europe's worst post-war maritime disaster.

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf laid a wreath by a granite wall bearing the names of all those killed, at a ceremony in Stockholm.

Hundreds of the relatives of the 500-odd Swedes killed in the disaster and many survivors attended the event.

A similar ceremony took place in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, while a special church service was to be held in Turku, south-western Finland, where the rescue operations were based.

No negligence

The roll-on roll-off Estonia ferry was sailing from Stockholm to Tallinn on the night of 27-28 September 1994 when it sank in just 45 minutes, after massive waves ripped off the boat's bow door and water poured into the vehicle deck.

Only 137 of the 989 passengers and crew on board survived.

As well as the bow door problem, the report into the disaster pointed to the intensity of the storm and human error, but did not find anyone on board guilty of criminal negligence.

"The risk is large that another shipping disaster like the Estonia can happen again," five Swedish MPs said in an open letter.

"Even after 10 years we don't know the cause of the sinking and what led to the loss of at least 852 lives. There are reasons to believe that we haven't taken the right measures to avoid a similar accident in the future."




SEE ALSO:
New clue to Estonia sinking
17 Jan 01  |  Europe
Estonia's victims to rest at sea
12 Feb 99  |  Europe


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