Estonian mark 10th anniversary of ferry disaster

  • 2004-09-29
  • By The Baltic Times
TALLINN 's Estonians recalled the passenger ferry sinking that took hundreds of lives in 1994 through a series of concerts and ceremonies in the beginning of the week.

President Arnold Ruutel, laying a wreath at the Tallinn memorial to the victims of the Estonia that occurred 10 years ago, said, "Ten years ago in a night on the stormy Baltic Sea, 852 people lost their lives. For Estonians this was the heaviest loss after the ordeal of the boat refugees and the March deportations half a century earlier. In every home and soul hit by the tragedy the loss of a beloved person left a huge void forever which cannot be filled even by the most beautiful and comforting words. Therefore, let us think of those who can be in our midst only in memories. I bow my head together with the loved ones of all those who perished," the president was quoted by the Baltic News Service as saying.

On Monday the president and attended a church concert and service commemorating the Estonia disaster at the Kaarli Church in Tallinn.

On Tuesday Parliamentary Speaker Ene Ergma and Prime Minister Juhan Parts laid a wreath on behalf of the state at a monument to the ferry disaster in Tallinn.

The Estonia capsized and sank in a storm while en route from Tallinn to Stockholm on the night of Sept. 27 's 28, 1994 after the locks of its bow door broke under the impact of waves. The vessel quickly took in huge amounts of water and quickly keeled onto one side by the force of the waves.

Only 137 of the ship's 989 passengers survived.

Although an official investigation on the disaster was concluded three years after the tragedy, many questions remain unanswered. Just as recently as last week a Swedish MP called for a new investigation to be launched.