Ramp collapse leaves passengers shaken

  • 2013-12-18
  • From wire report

HEAVY LOAD: Investigators are looking for clues in the ramp accident

TALLINN - The Estonian Waterways Board announced on Dec. 13 that it will start a safety investigation into the collapse of the vehicle loading ramp on board Tallink Star ferry that took place in the Helsinki port the previous evening, reports Delfi.
The vehicle loading ramp inside the ferry, used to move vehicles from the lower deck to an upper deck, collapsed from one corner during the loading of trucks, under the weight. Trucks slid against each other and one driver became trapped. Rescue services freed him and he received some medical aid. Nobody suffered any serious injuries in the accident. The trucks under the ramp were partly damaged.
There were around 730 passengers on board the ship. Relocated to the Tallink Superstar ferry, they arrived in Tallinn after 2 a.m.

The Waterways Board said that the board and ship’s classification society were immediately notified of the case. The exterior perimeter of the ship was intact, the ship was declared fit to sail and it sailed back to Tallinn on Friday with the vehicles trapped due to the faulty ramp still on board. There were 205 vehicles on board the ship, 180 of them passenger cars.

In Tallinn, technical experts are inspecting the ship again and a safety investigation will take place to find out the causes of the accident.
Public Broadcasting added that Star was built by Finnish shipyard Aker Yards in 2007. The faulty ramp was produced by the Scandinavian company TTS; the 44 meter long and 6 meter wide ramp had been issued a certificate to bear the weight of up to 200 tons.

The total weight of vehicles on the ramp during the accident was 130 tons, on the basis of declarations. Star is unique among Tallink’s ships, and a ramp with similar construction, size or mechanism is not in use in any other ships at the company.