Welcome to a chapter of the e-book Disaster Investigation.
3.11 The Accident according to the Commission - the Opening of the Bow Ramp and the Loss of the Visor - the Listing with Water on the Car Deck
After the ramp had been ripped away from its two hooks and four locks, the Commission said in its early statements in October 1994 that the ramp moved forward to a partly open position, when the water, about 50 - 100 tons collected inside the visor, started to flow into the superstructure and on the car deck, this is was Treu is stated to have seen, and that the ship slowly listed a little at 01.15 hrs.
That the ship suddenly listed >30 degrees at 01.02 hrs and became stable with about 15 degrees list according to a majority of survivors had to be forgotten.
The lower part of the ramp was still inside the 'tunnel' leading into the superstructure 3.4 and the opening between the ramp and the frame was blocked by the longitudinal bulkheads - see figure 3.11 below. The time for this event is 01.15 hrs or a little later, when Treu and Sillaste saw the leaking ramp on the monitor in the ECR, 1.3 and 1.9. It is probable that the visor lifting hydraulics had not yet torn open the front bulkhead starboard and port 3.10.
The Star Witness Treu does not notice the sudden Listing >30 Degrees
When they rushed into the ECR, the ship had already had a sudden list (>30 degrees?) and then become upright and then stopped at about 10-15 degrees list, but this the Commission had to censor. Treu states in (5) that, just before he saw water leaking in at the ramp, there were two hard bangs. But before that all was normal, i.e. Treu had not heard that the Atlantic lock was broken 3.7 at 00.55 hrs, side locks breaking at say 01.05 hrs 3.8 and that the visor had moved up and down during ten minutes say 01.05-01.15 hrs around the hinges 3.9, before they broke, the lifting hydraulic cylinders were ripped lose and the deck plating and deck beam in the superstructure were cut open or apart 3.10.
In the Part report (16) Treu said that he first saw water coming in at the edges of the ramp and that the ramp appeared to be in closed position. But ..
"A few moments later hard metallic noise was heard and a further moment later the ship started rolling heavily and got a list to starboard".
Treu - the star witness of the Commission - thus did not notice the sudden list >30 degrees to starboard (at 01.02 hrs!) and that the ship became upright due to roll and ended up with a permanent list. Earlier - before 01.15 hrs - all was normal in the ECR and the engine room. No problems at all! But what did Treu hear?
The Sound insulated Control Room
What Treu could have heard inside the sound insulated ECR was the ramp locks being ripped open 3.10 at 01.13 hrs, but it was - according to the Commission - the weight of the visor tearing up the ramp as a sardine tin, and it must have occurred before the list.119
It is now that the visor had been lost 'under way' between Tallinn and Stockholm 1.14 and water can start entering the superstructure. You would now - with the ramp fully open - expect that the 'Estonia' would have capsized after two minutes to float upside down but it never happened.
A moment earlier the damages on the starboard front bulkhead of the superstructure 3.10 should have occurred. But as we have seen earlier, the Commission did not report anything about the big damaged hole in the starboard bulkhead. When and how did it come about?
The Ramp was fully open
The Commission stated that
(i) the ramp was fully open at 01.15 hrs,
Now the 'Estonia' should have capsized and floated upside down on the hull after a few minutes!
But the Commission concluded differently! The ship should have sunk after 01.50 hrs without capsize. So what happened during the following 35 minutes? The Swedish Board of Psychological Defence shall give the answer - sometime.
All three engine crew members, Treu, Sillaste and Kadak, were reportedly in the ECR on deck 1 at this time - a few minutes after the sudden listing. Sillaste had been on deck 0 repairing the vacuum sewage system, when he noticed the sudden listing, and Kadak was in the workshop on deck 1 starboard, when the ship listed. They then returned to the ECR, where they joined Treu and remained for at least seven minutes (until after 01.22 hrs).
They should then have seen the wide open ramp on the monitor and the sea outside and how the waves moved into the superstructure every sixth second, when the ship pitched down into the waves, but they only saw a closed and leaking ramp at the forward end of the superstructure according to their early statements. The light was on in the car deck.
The Engine Crew remains in the Control Room and lies about the Events
Then they reportedly stayed another 7-10 minutes in the ECR trying to save the ship 1.48 trying to start pumps, talking calmly to the bridge four times, while all the passengers immediately escaped. These guys were very, very brave indeed - staying inside a ship that was going to capsize or sink.
The bilge pumps had been started - when, how and why? 1.3, the watertight doors were open and were allegedly later closed - who closed them, when and why? 1.23. And how did the engine crew members get out from the ECR after seven minutes of alleged bravery in the ECR, when the watertight doors were closed?
The surviving passengers had reacted immediately to evacuate and it took them a few or several minutes to get out.
But the engine crew remained calmly in the ECR trying to save the ship - it sounds strange, to say the least. But the Commission believes only the engine crew ... but does not clarify why they saw a closed ramp ... and stayed on. Why didn't the engine crew escape at once?
Expert Huss explains the Matter
Expert Huss stated that it took 28 minutes to fill the superstructure with 2 000 tons of water: 71.4 tons/min between 00.15-01.43 hrs 1.9 and, if that were the case, there were no real danger to anybody. The ship was floating safely albeit with water loaded in the superstructure. That water should have flowed out immediately when the ship stopped and the 'Estonia' would have become upright immediately.
But the Commission changed the developments in the Final report (5); (a) it took only seven, eight minutes to fill the superstructure with 2 000 tons, (b) the ship did not capsize nor lose its stability completely as it was floating on the deck house, which the Commission could not explain, (c) the ship turned South or port 180°, so that it could head back to Tallinn (not proven), (d) that the angle of heel increased without the ship capsizing, (e) that a Mayday was sent at 01.24 hrs, (f) that the deck house filled with water latest at 01.28 hrs (14 000 tons flowed in during two minutes!) but the stability was not lost, (f) no water flowed out, when the ship stopped, etc.
We must not forget that also a lot of fragments fell off the ship at this time according to the Commission - proving, e.g. the port turn 2 000 meters west of the final wreck position. Why and where the fragments fell off we are never told.
Assisting ships saw the 'Estonia' at this time - around 01.30 hrs - immobile, stopped in the water (probably close to the final wreck position), while the Commission stated that the sinking ship with angle of list 60-110 degrees moved - drifted - sideways with 2,2 knots speed in an eastward direction during another 20 minutes - >1.200 meters - before it sank.
But how the hull was water filled during these 20 minutes, the Commission could not explain except that the hull compartments were flooded from above - but when? - and how?
It took the Commission more than three years to establish the above described fantastic course of events. There is no evidence for anything. All of it is lies! Incredible. The Commission invented a fairy tale to write the Final report (5). And nobody reacted.
In 2001 the Swedish government appointed the Swedish Board of Psychological Defence to explain how the hull of the 'Estonia' filled with water between 01.30-01.52 hrs allowing the sinking 1.49.
Later 4.1 the Commission suggested that various floating objects were trapped in the opening between the ramp and its frame, when the ship sank, and that the ramp then moved back, due to gravity, to an almost closed position at a list angle >100 degrees as found at the sea floor.
That the ship sank is true, but was it caused by faulty visor locks, etc., water on the car deck in the superstructure, etc, and what then followed? Of course not!
All the brave witnesses in the ECR lied.
The Commission lied from day one ordered to do so by their governments, so the crew witnesses had to lie too (or their testimonies were re-written to support the official lies). They all including their governments thought they could get away with a false course of events and Final Report. That was why, it took the Commission more than three years to cover up the real story and to write a fairy tale.
How many years more shall it take to uncover the true story?
The 'independent' Experts support the Commission
It is quite interesting to observe the large number of 'independent experts' stating 1998-2001 to the government (Minister Mona Sahlin) - in spite of the above obvious lies - that the course of events of the Commission is still 'probable' and that the Final report (5) is still complete and trustworthy and that all other theories are 'fantasies' or 'conspiracy theories'. Why do they state that? How can Ms Mona Sahlin believe such outright lies? Aha ... all these experts are simply government employées.
This writer is definitely no conspiracy theorist. He has suggested that the sudden listing was caused by free water inside the hull and that the ship sank due to leakage of the hull. The leakage of the hull was evidently caused by a burst shell plate, e.g. due to corrosion in the swimming pool compartment) or to a faulty stabilizer installation eight months before the accident or defective shell plate repairs (like the 'Erika' 1999) or due to a collision. He has concluded that open watertight doors contributed to the sinking and that defective life saving equipment contributed to the high number of victims, etc, etc. None of these non-conspiratorial observations have been investigated. Instead the Commission has suggested that the hull was intact, there was no hull leakage, the watertight doors were closed, the life saving equipment was in perfect order and the crew was well trained. What a fairy tale. And the Commission could never explain how the ship sank. It is quite criminal actually! Governments and their servants evidently hiding something ... a crime!
119 The writer is convinced that Treu simply lied at the request of his masters! Treu could not have heard anything in the bottom of the ship inside the sound insulated ECR with noisy engine rooms outside. Was Treu in the ECR, when the list occurred?
120 Video films show that at least one 'preventer' wire is intact with its shackle and bolt screwed together, i.e. it was not connected to the ramp.