American figure skater Nancy Kerrigan is attacked and injured by an assailant hired by her rival Tonya Harding’s ex-husband during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships that they were both taking part in.
The chemical element darmstadtium is discovered.
|Pronunciation||/ - -/, (listen) |
|Darmstadtium in the periodic table|
|Atomic number (Z)||110|
|Element category||Transition metal, although not experimentally confirmed|
|Electron configuration||[Rn] 5f14 6d8 7s2 (predicted)|
|Electrons per shell||2, 8, 18, 32, 32, 16, 2 (predicted)|
|Phase at STP||solid (predicted)|
|Density (near r.t.)||34.8 g/cm3 (predicted)|
|Oxidation states||(0), (+2), (+4), (+6), (+8) (predicted)|
|Atomic radius||empirical: 132 pm (predicted)|
|Covalent radius||128 pm (estimated)|
|Crystal structure|| body-centered cubic (bcc)|
|Naming||after Darmstadt, Germany, where it was discovered|
|Discovery||Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (1994)|
|Main isotopes of darmstadtium|
Darmstadtium is a chemical element with the symbol Ds and atomic number 110. It is an extremely radioactive synthetic element. The most stable known isotope, darmstadtium-281, has a half-life of approximately 12.7 seconds. Darmstadtium was first created in 1994 by the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research near the city of Darmstadt, Germany, after which it was named.
In the periodic table, it is a d-block transactinide element. It is a member of the 7th period and is placed in the group 10 elements, although no chemical experiments have yet been carried out to confirm that it behaves as the heavier homologue to platinum in group 10 as the eighth member of the 6d series of transition metals. Darmstadtium is calculated to have similar properties to its lighter homologues, nickel, palladium, and platinum.
|Visualization of unsuccessful nuclear fusion, based on calculations by the Australian National University|
The heaviest[a] atomic nuclei are created in nuclear reactions that combine two other nuclei of unequal size[b] into one; roughly, the more unequal the two nuclei in terms of mass, the greater the possibility that the two react. The material made of the heavier nuclei is made into a target, which is then bombarded by the beam of lighter nuclei. Two nuclei can only fuse into one if they approach each other closely enough; normally, nuclei (all positively charged) repel each other due to electrostatic repulsion. The strong interaction can overcome this repulsion but only within a very short distance from a nucleus; beam nuclei are thus greatly accelerated in order to make such repulsion insignificant compared to the velocity of the beam nucleus. Coming close alone is not enough for two nuclei to fuse: when two nuclei approach each other, they usually remain together for approximately 10−20 seconds and then part ways (not necessarily in the same composition as before the reaction) rather than form a single nucleus. If fusion does occur, the temporary merger—termed a compound nucleus—is an excited state. To lose its excitation energy and reach a more stable state, a compound nucleus either fissions or ejects one or several neutrons,[c] which carry away the energy. This occurs in approximately 10−16 seconds after the initial collision.[d]
The beam passes through the target and reaches the next chamber, the separator; if a new nucleus is produced, it is carried with this beam. In the separator, the newly produced nucleus is separated from other nuclides (that of the original beam and any other reaction products)[e] and transferred to a surface-barrier detector, which stops the nucleus. The exact location of the upcoming impact on the detector is marked; also marked are its energy and the time of the arrival. The transfer takes about 10−6 seconds; in order to be detected, the nucleus must survive this long. The nucleus is recorded again once its decay is registered, and the location, the energy, and the time of the decay are measured.
Stability of a nucleus is provided by the strong interaction. However, its range is very short; as nuclei become larger, its influence on the outermost nucleons (protons and neutrons) weakens. At the same time, the nucleus is torn apart by electrostatic repulsion between protons, as it has unlimited range. Nuclei of the heaviest elements are thus theoretically predicted and have so far been observed to primarily decay via decay modes that are caused by such repulsion: alpha decay and spontaneous fission;[f] these modes are predominant for nuclei of superheavy elements. Alpha decays are registered by the emitted alpha particles, and the decay products are easy to determine before the actual decay; if such a decay or a series of consecutive decays produces a known nucleus, the original product of a reaction can be determined arithmetically.[g] Spontaneous fission, however, produces various nuclei as products, so the original nuclide cannot be determined from its daughters.[h]
The information available to physicists aiming to synthesize one of the heaviest elements is thus the information collected at the detectors: location, energy, and time of arrival of a particle to the detector, and those of its decay. The physicists analyze this data and seek to conclude that it was indeed caused by a new element and could not have been caused by a different nuclide than the one claimed. Often, provided data is insufficient for a conclusion that a new element was definitely created and there is no other explanation for the observed effects; errors in interpreting data have been made.[i]
Darmstadtium was first created on November 9, 1994, at the Institute for Heavy Ion Research (Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung, GSI) in Darmstadt, Germany, by Peter Armbruster and Gottfried Münzenberg, under the direction of Sigurd Hofmann. The team bombarded a lead-208 target with accelerated nuclei of nickel-62 in a heavy ion accelerator and detected a single atom of the isotope darmstadtium-269:
82Pb + 62
28Ni → 269
110Ds + 1
In the same series of experiments, the same team also carried out the reaction using heavier nickel-64 ions. During two runs, 9 atoms of 271Ds were convincingly detected by correlation with known daughter decay properties:
82Pb + 64
28Ni → 271
110Ds + 1
Prior to this, there had been failed synthesis attempts in 1986–87 at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna (then in the Soviet Union) and in 1990 at the GSI. A 1995 attempt at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory resulted in signs suggesting but not pointing conclusively at the discovery of a new isotope 267Ds formed in the bombardment of 209Bi with 59Co, and a similarly inconclusive 1994 attempt at the JINR showed signs of 273Ds being produced from 244Pu and 34S. Each team proposed its own name for element 110: the American team proposed hahnium after Otto Hahn in an attempt to resolve the situation on element 105 (which they had long been suggesting this name for), the Russian team proposed becquerelium after Henri Becquerel, and the German team proposed darmstadtium after Darmstadt, the location of their institute. The IUPAC/IUPAP Joint Working Party (JWP) recognised the GSI team as discoverers in their 2001 report, giving them the right to suggest a name for the element.
Using Mendeleev's nomenclature for unnamed and undiscovered elements, darmstadtium should be known as eka-platinum. In 1979, IUPAC published recommendations according to which the element was to be called ununnilium (with the corresponding symbol of Uun), a systematic element name as a placeholder, until the element was discovered (and the discovery then confirmed) and a permanent name was decided on. Although widely used in the chemical community on all levels, from chemistry classrooms to advanced textbooks, the recommendations were mostly ignored among scientists in the field, who called it "element 110", with the symbol of E110, (110) or even simply 110.
In 1996, the Russian team proposed the name becquerelium after Henri Becquerel. The American team in 1997 proposed the name hahnium after Otto Hahn (previously this name had been used for element 105).
The name darmstadtium (Ds) was suggested by the GSI team in honor of the city of Darmstadt, where the element was discovered. The GSI team originally also considered naming the element wixhausium, after the suburb of Darmstadt known as Wixhausen where the element was discovered, but eventually decided on darmstadtium. Policium had also been proposed as a joke due to the emergency telephone number in Germany being 1-1-0. The new name darmstadtium was officially recommended by IUPAC on August 16, 2003.
|279Ds||0.21 s||||SF, α||2003||287Fl(—,2α)|
|281Ds||12.7 s||||SF, α||2004||289Fl(—,2α)|
Darmstadtium has no stable or naturally occurring isotopes. Several radioactive isotopes have been synthesized in the laboratory, either by fusing two atoms or by observing the decay of heavier elements. Nine different isotopes of darmstadtium have been reported with atomic masses 267, 269–271, 273, 277, and 279–281, although darmstadtium-267 and darmstadtium-280 are unconfirmed. Three darmstadtium isotopes, darmstadtium-270, darmstadtium-271, and darmstadtium-281, have known metastable states, although that of darmstadtium-281 is unconfirmed. Most of these decay predominantly through alpha decay, but some undergo spontaneous fission.
Stability and half-lives
All darmstadtium isotopes are extremely unstable and radioactive; in general, the heavier isotopes are more stable than the lighter. The most stable known darmstadtium isotope, 281Ds, is also the heaviest known darmstadtium isotope; it has a half-life of 12.7 seconds. The isotope 279Ds has a half-life of 0.18 seconds, while the unconfirmed 281mDs has a half-life of 0.9 seconds. The remaining seven isotopes and two metastable states have half-lives between 1 microsecond and 70 milliseconds. Some unknown darmstadtium isotopes may have longer half-lives, however.
Theoretical calculation in a quantum tunneling model reproduces the experimental alpha decay half-life data for the known darmstadtium isotopes. It also predicts that the undiscovered isotope 294Ds, which has a magic number of neutrons (184), would have an alpha decay half-life on the order of 311 years; exactly the same approach predicts a ~3500-year alpha half-life for the non-magic 293Ds isotope, however.
Other than nuclear properties, no properties of darmstadtium or its compounds have been measured; this is due to its extremely limited and expensive production and the fact that darmstadtium (and its parents) decays very quickly. Properties of darmstadtium metal remain unknown and only predictions are available.
Darmstadtium is the eighth member of the 6d series of transition metals, and should be much like the platinum group metals. Calculations on its ionization potentials and atomic and ionic radii are similar to that of its lighter homologue platinum, thus implying that darmstadtium's basic properties will resemble those of the other group 10 elements, nickel, palladium, and platinum.
Prediction of the probable chemical properties of darmstadtium has not received much attention recently. Darmstadtium should be a very noble metal. The predicted standard reduction potential for the Ds2+/Ds couple is 1.7 V. Based on the most stable oxidation states of the lighter group 10 elements, the most stable oxidation states of darmstadtium are predicted to be the +6, +4, and +2 states; however, the neutral state is predicted to be the most stable in aqueous solutions. In comparison, only palladium and platinum are known to show the maximum oxidation state in the group, +6, while the most stable states are +4 and +2 for both nickel and palladium. It is further expected that the maximum oxidation states of elements from bohrium (element 107) to darmstadtium (element 110) may be stable in the gas phase but not in aqueous solution. Darmstadtium hexafluoride (DsF6) is predicted to have very similar properties to its lighter homologue platinum hexafluoride (PtF6), having very similar electronic structures and ionization potentials. It is also expected to have the same octahedral molecular geometry as PtF6. Other predicted darmstadtium compounds are darmstadtium carbide (DsC) and darmstadtium tetrachloride (DsCl4), both of which are expected to behave like their lighter homologues. Unlike platinum, which preferentially forms a cyanide complex in its +2 oxidation state, Pt(CN)2, darmstadtium is expected to preferentially remain in its neutral state and form Ds(CN)2−
2 instead, forming a strong Ds–C bond with some multiple bond character.
Physical and atomic
Darmstadtium is expected to be a solid under normal conditions and to crystallize in the body-centered cubic structure, unlike its lighter congeners which crystallize in the face-centered cubic structure, because it is expected to have different electron charge densities from them. It should be a very heavy metal with a density of around 34.8 g/cm3. In comparison, the densest known element that has had its density measured, osmium, has a density of only 22.61 g/cm3. This results from darmstadtium's high atomic weight, the lanthanide and actinide contractions, and relativistic effects, although production of enough darmstadtium to measure this quantity would be impractical, and the sample would quickly decay.
The outer electron configuration of darmstadtium is calculated to be 6d8 7s2, which obeys the Aufbau principle and does not follow platinum's outer electron configuration of 5d9 6s1. This is due to the relativistic stabilization of the 7s2 electron pair over the whole seventh period, so that none of the elements from 104 to 112 are expected to have electron configurations violating the Aufbau principle. The atomic radius of darmstadtium is expected to be around 132 pm.
Unambiguous determination of the chemical characteristics of darmstadtium has yet to have been established due to the short half-lives of darmstadtium isotopes and a limited number of likely volatile compounds that could be studied on a very small scale. One of the few darmstadtium compounds that are likely to be sufficiently volatile is darmstadtium hexafluoride (DsF
6), as its lighter homologue platinum hexafluoride (PtF
6) is volatile above 60 °C and therefore the analogous compound of darmstadtium might also be sufficiently volatile; a volatile octafluoride (DsF
8) might also be possible. For chemical studies to be carried out on a transactinide, at least four atoms must be produced, the half-life of the isotope used must be at least 1 second, and the rate of production must be at least one atom per week. Even though the half-life of 281Ds, the most stable confirmed darmstadtium isotope, is 12.7 seconds, long enough to perform chemical studies, another obstacle is the need to increase the rate of production of darmstadtium isotopes and allow experiments to carry on for weeks or months so that statistically significant results can be obtained. Separation and detection must be carried out continuously to separate out the darmstadtium isotopes and have automated systems experiment on the gas-phase and solution chemistry of darmstadtium, as the yields for heavier elements are predicted to be smaller than those for lighter elements; some of the separation techniques used for bohrium and hassium could be reused. However, the experimental chemistry of darmstadtium has not received as much attention as that of the heavier elements from copernicium to livermorium.
The more neutron-rich darmstadtium isotopes are the most stable and are thus more promising for chemical studies. However, they can only be produced indirectly from the alpha decay of heavier elements, and indirect synthesis methods are not as favourable for chemical studies as direct synthesis methods. The more neutron-rich isotopes 276Ds and 277Ds might be produced directly in the reaction between thorium-232 and calcium-48, but the yield is expected to be low. Furthermore, this reaction has already been tested without success, and more recent experiments that have successfully synthesized 277Ds using indirect methods show that it has a short half-life of 3.5 ms, not long enough to perform chemical studies. The only known darmstadtium isotope with a half-lifelong enough for chemical research is 281Ds, which would have to be produced as the granddaughter of 289Fl.
- In nuclear physics, an element is called heavy if its atomic number is high; lead (element 82) is one example of such a heavy element. The term "superheavy elements" typically refers to elements with atomic number greater than 103 (although there are other definitions, such as atomic number greater than 100 or 112; sometimes, the term is presented an equivalent to the term "transactinide", which puts an upper limit before the beginning of the hypothetical superactinide series). Terms "heavy isotopes" (of a given element) and "heavy nuclei" mean what could be understood in the common language—isotopes of high mass (for the given element) and nuclei of high mass, respectively.
- In 2009, a team at JINR led by Oganessian published results of their attempt to create hassium in a symmetric 136Xe + 136Xe reaction. They failed to observe a single atom in such a reaction, putting the upper limit on the cross section, the measure of probability of a nuclear reaction, as 2.5 pb. In comparison, the reaction that resulted in hassium discovery, 208Pb + 58Fe, had a cross section of ~20 pb (more specifically, 19+19
−11 pb), as estimated by the discoverers.
- The greater the excitation energy, the more neutrons are ejected. If the excitation energy is lower than energy binding each neutron to the rest of the nucleus, neutrons are not emitted; instead, the compound nucleus de-excites by emitting a gamma ray.
- The definition by the IUPAC/IUPAP Joint Working Party states that a chemical element can only be recognized as discovered if a nucleus of it has not decayed within 10−14 seconds. This value was chosen as an estimate of how long it takes a nucleus to acquire its outer electrons and thus display its chemical properties. This figure also marks the generally accepted upper limit for lifetime of a compound nucleus.
- This separation is based on that the resulting nuclei move past the target more slowly then the unreacted beam nuclei. The separator contains electric and magnetic fields whose effects on a moving particle cancel out for a specific velocity of a particle. Such separation can also be aided by a time-of-flight measurement and a recoil energy measurement; a combination of the two may allow to estimate the mass of a nucleus.
- Not all decay modes are caused by electrostatic repulsion. For example, beta decay is caused by the weak interaction.
- Since mass of a nucleus is not measured directly but is rather calculated from that of another nucleus, such measurement is called indirect. Direct measurements are also possible, but for the most part they have remained unavailable for heaviest nuclei. The first direct measurement of mass of a superheavy nucleus was reported in 2018 at LBNL. Mass was determined from the location of a nucleus after the transfer (the location helps determine its trajectory, which is linked to the mass-to-charge ratio of the nucleus, since the transfer was done in presence of a magnet).
- Spontaneous fission was discovered by Soviet physicist Georgy Flerov, a leading scientist at JINR, and thus it was a "hobbyhorse" for the facility. In contrast, the LBL scientists believed fission information was not sufficient for a claim of synthesis of an element. They believed spontaneous fission had not been studied enough to use it for identification of a new element, since there was a difficulty of establishing that a compound nucleus had only ejected neutrons and not charged particles like protons or alpha particles. They thus preferred to link new isotopes to the already known ones by successive alpha decays.
- For instance, element 102 was mistakenly identified in 1957 at the Nobel Institute of Physics in Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden. There were no earlier definitive claims of creation of this element, and the element was assigned a name by its Swedish, American, and British discoverers, nobelium. It was later shown that the identification was incorrect. The following year, RL was unable to reproduce the Swedish results and announced instead their synthesis of the element; that claim was also disproved later. JINR insisted that they were the first to create the element and suggested a name of their own for the new element, joliotium; the Soviet name was also not accepted (JINR later referred to the naming of element 102 as "hasty"). The name "nobelium" remained unchanged on account of its widespread usage.
- Different sources give different values for half-lives; the most recently published values are listed.
- This isotope is unconfirmed
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Russian journalist Dmitry Kholodov is assassinated while investigating corruption in the armed forces.
Dmitry Kholodov, journalist
Dmitry Yuryevich Kholodov
21 June 1967
|Died||17 October 1994 (aged 27)|
|Education||Moscow Engineering Physics Institute|
Dmitry Yuryevich Kholodov (Russian: Дми́трий Ю́рьевич Хо́лодов; 21 July 1967 – 17 October 1994) was a Russian journalist who investigated corruption in the military and was assassinated on 17 October 1994 in Moscow. His assassination was the first of many killings of journalists in Russia.
Early life and education
Kholodov was born in Zagorsk (now Sergiyev Posad) on 21 June 1967. He studied physics.
Kholodov began his working life alongside his parents at the defence industry institute in Klimovsk in the Moscow Region. Faced by limited career prospects he turned to journalism, first working for the local radio. In 1992, he became a reporter with the national Moskovsky Komsomolets daily newspaper.
In 1993, Kholodov travelled to hotspots around the former Soviet Union, reporting for Moskovsky Komsomolets. In particular, he was in Abkhazia during the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and, as he witnessed the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia, sent many detailed reports, including one entitled "Sukhumi apocalypse".
In October 1993, Kholodov interviewed Defence Minister Pavel Grachev. For the next twelve months, on the basis of leaks from army and Ministry of Defence sources, he wrote and published numerous articles about high-level corruption in the military, especially concerning the misuse of funds intended to ease the withdrawal and resettlement of half a million former Soviet troops and their families who had been based in East Germany. Kholodov was due to speak at Duma hearings into these allegations, which supposedly reached as high as the Defence Minister himself, when he was murdered. None of the allegations were ever tested in court. Grachev was replaced as Defence Minister in 1996 after the end of the First Chechen War.
Kholodov died on 17 October 1994 when he opened a booby-trapped briefcase in his newspaper's offices. He had picked up the case that morning from the left-luggage section at a Moscow train station after being told it contained documents exposing corruption in the armed forces. The editors of Kholodov's daily, Moskovsky Komsomolets, accused the Russian military leadership (Defence Minister Grachev in particular) of ordering the killing. The military denied involvement. Speaking as a witness in court some six years later, Pavel Grachev claimed that "some of my subordinates misunderstood my words".
Local and foreign correspondents had already died in Moscow and elsewhere in the country (see List of journalists killed in Russia), but this was the first indisputable targeting of a journalist for their work. Kholodov's murder sent shockwaves through Russia's media community. Reaction abroad was muted, apart from professional media monitors and human rights organisations, and after December 1994 his killing was overshadowed by the onset of the First Chechen War. Kholodov's violent death personalized the risk faced by reporters in Russia, and the long drawn-out investigation and subsequent failure to convict the suspects had a chilling effect on investigative journalism in the country's newly free media.
The case remains unique in one aspect. With one exception (Oleg Sedinko in 2002), explosives have never again been used to kill a journalist in Russia; and unlike the ongoing spate of contract killings no evidence was presented in court that money had been paid to Kholodov's alleged killers. They were acting, apparently, to avoid the displeasure of their superiors and to advance their careers.
Trial and acquittal
The trial of six defendants, four of them serving military officers, began in 2000 at the Moscow District Military Court (see Russian courts). They were acquitted in 2002 and again, after a second trial, in 2004. On both occasions the Prosecutor General's Office protested against the verdict to the Russian Supreme Court.
Kholodov's elderly parents and their lawyers alleged improprieties in the conduct of the trial and the behaviour of the different judges presiding over the two trials (the second of whom, Yevgeny Zubov, would be in charge of the trial of Anna Politkovskaya's alleged killers). An attempt was made to have a complaint about the lack of a fair trial examined before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. It was rejected on the grounds that the murder preceded Russia's full accession to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in 1998. By 2004, the killing was also technically beyond the statute of limitation for murder laid down in Russia's 1960 Criminal Code. Speaking in Germany in 2008, however, President Dmitry Medvedev said that the killings of certain journalists were of such importance that there should be no time limit for the prosecution of those responsible. Kholodov's case was still unsolved as of 2009.
- "Suspect in Kholodov's murder arrested". IFEX. 20 February 1998. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- "Journalist murder still unsolved 15 years on". RT. 17 October 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
- Yekaterina Deyeva, "Dima", Moskovsky komsomolets, 3 July 2002 cited in CJES bulletin.
- See Kholodov case study in PARTIAL JUSTICE: An inquiry into the deaths of journalists in Russia Archived 10 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, June 2009.
- Closing speech of lead prosecutor Irina Alyoshina Archived 9 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine (in Russian).
- Closing speech, Irina Alyoshina Archived 9 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine (in Russian).
- 24 November 2008, Novaya gazeta Archived 7 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine Reports on the first week of the Politkovskaya trial (in English).
- See report (in Russian) by Nina Ognianova, Committee to Protect Journalists.
The cruise ferry MS Estonia sinks in the Baltic Sea, killing 852 people.
Scale model of MS Estonia
|Port of registry:|
|Ordered:||11 September 1979|
|Builder:||Meyer Werft, Papenburg, West Germany|
|Laid down:||18 October 1979|
|Launched:||26 April 1980|
|Acquired:||29 June 1980|
|In service:||5 July 1980|
|Fate:||Capsized and sank on 28 September 1994|
|Beam:||24.21 m (79 ft 5 in)|
|Draught:||5.60 m (18 ft 4 in)|
|Speed:||21.1 knots (39.1 km/h; 24.3 mph)|
MS Estonia was a cruiseferry built in 1979/80 at the German shipyard Meyer Werft in Papenburg. The ship's 1994 sinking, in the Baltic Sea between Sweden, Åland, Finland and Estonia, was one of the worst maritime disasters of the 20th century. It is one of the deadliest peacetime sinkings of a European ship, after the RMS Titanic (1912) and the RMS Empress of Ireland (1914), and the deadliest peacetime shipwreck to have occurred in European waters, with 852 lives lost.
The ship was originally ordered from Meyer Werft by a Norwegian shipping company led by with intended traffic between Norway and Germany. At the last moment, the company withdrew their order and the contract went to Rederi Ab Sally, one of the partners in the Viking Line consortium (SF Line, another partner in Viking Line, had also been interested in the ship).
Originally the ship was conceived as a sister ship to Diana II, built in 1979 by the same shipyard for Rederi AB Slite, the third partner in Viking Line. When Sally took over the construction contract, the ship was lengthened from the original length of approximately 137 metres (449 ft) to approximately 155 metres (509 ft) and the superstructure of the ship was largely redesigned.
Meyer Werft had constructed a large number of ships for various Viking Line partner companies during the 1970s. The construction of the ship's bow consisted of an upwards-opening visor and a car ramp that was placed inside the visor when it was closed. An identical bow construction had also been used in Diana II.[JAIC 1]
Estonia previously sailed as Viking Sally (1980–1990), Silja Star (1990–1991), and Wasa King (1991–1993).
On 29 June 1980, Viking Sally was delivered to Rederi Ab Sally, Finland and was put into service on the route between Turku, Mariehamn and Stockholm (during summer 1982 on the Naantali–Mariehamn–Kapellskär route). She was the largest ship to serve on that route at the time. As with many ships, Viking Sally suffered some mishaps during her Viking Line service, being grounded in the Åland Archipelago in May 1984 and suffering some propeller problems in April of the following year. In 1985 she was also rebuilt with a "duck tail". In 1986, a passenger was murdered on board. In 1987, another murder and attempted murder took place. Rederi Ab Sally had been experiencing financial difficulties for most of the 1980s. In late 1987, Effoa and Johnson Line, the owners of Viking Line's main rivals Silja Line, bought Sally. As a result of this, SF Line and Rederi AB Slite forced Sally to withdraw from Viking Line. Viking Sally was chartered to Rederi AB Slite to continue on her current traffic for the next three years.
When her charter ended in April 1990, Viking Sally had an unusual change of service. She was painted in Silja Line's colours, renamed Silja Star and placed on the same route that she had plied for Viking Line: Turku–Mariehamn–Stockholm. The reason for this was that Silja's new ship for Helsinki–Stockholm service was built behind schedule and one of the Turku–Stockholm ships, Wellamo, was transferred to that route until the new ship was complete in November 1990. Also in 1990 Effoa, Johnson Line and Rederi Ab Sally merged into .
The following spring Silja Star began her service with Wasa Line, another company owned by EffJohn. Her name was changed to Wasa King and she served on routes connecting Vaasa, Finland to Umeå and Sundsvall in Sweden. It has been reported that the Wasa King was widely considered to be the best behaving ship in rough weather to have sailed from Vaasa.
In January 1993, at the same time when EffJohn decided to merge Wasa Line's operations into Silja Line, Wasa King was sold to for use on Estline's Tallinn–Stockholm traffic under the name Estonia. The actual ownership of the ship was rather complex, in order for Nordström & Thulin to get a loan to buy the ship. Although Nordström & Thulin was the company which bought the ship, her registered owner was Estline Marine Co Ltd, Nicosia, Cyprus, which chartered the ship to E.Liini A/S, Tallinn, Estonia (daughter company of Nordström & Thulin and ESCO), which in turn chartered the ship to Estline AB. As a result, the ship was actually registered in both Cyprus and Estonia.
|Nationality of the victims||Deaths|
The Estonia disaster occurred on Wednesday, 28 September 1994, between about 00:55 and 01:50 (UTC+2) as the ship was crossing the Baltic Sea, en route from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm, Sweden. Estonia departed slightly behind schedule at 19:15 on 27 September and had been expected in Stockholm the next morning at about 09:00. She was carrying 989 people: 803 passengers and 186 crew.[JAIC 2] Most of the passengers were Swedish, although some were of Estonian origin, while most of the crew members were Estonian. The ship was fully loaded, and was listing slightly to starboard because of poor cargo distribution.
According to the final disaster report, the weather was rough, with a wind of 15 to 20 metres per second (29 to 39 kn; 34 to 45 mph), force 7–8 on the Beaufort scale and a significant wave height of 4 to 6 metres (13 to 20 ft)[JAIC 3] compared with the highest measured significant wave height in the Baltic Sea of 7.7 metres (25.3 ft). , the captain of Silja Europa who was appointed on-scene commander for the subsequent rescue effort, described the weather as "normally bad", or like a typical autumn storm in the Baltic Sea. All scheduled passenger ferries were at sea. The official report says that while the exact speed at the time of the accident is not known, Estonia had very regular voyage times, averaging 16 to 17 knots (30 to 31 km/h; 18 to 20 mph). The chief mate of the Viking Line cruiseferry Mariella tracked Estonia's speed by radar at approximately 14.2 knots (26.3 km/h; 16.3 mph) before the first signs of distress, while the Silja Europa's officers estimated her speed at 14 to 15 knots (26 to 28 km/h; 16 to 17 mph) at midnight.
The first sign of trouble aboard Estonia was when a metallic bang was heard, caused by a heavy wave hitting the bow doors around 01:00, when the ship was on the outskirts of the Turku archipelago, but an inspection—limited to checking the indicator lights for the ramp and visor—showed no problems. Over the next 10 minutes, similar noises were reported by passengers and other crew. At about 01:15, the visor separated and the ship's bow door opened. The ship immediately took on a heavy starboard list (initially around 15 degrees, but by 01:30, the ship had rolled 60 degrees and by 01:50 the list was 90 degrees) as water flooded into the vehicle deck. Estonia was turned to port and slowed before her four engines cut out completely.
At about 01:20, a quiet female voice called "Häire, häire, laeval on häire", Estonian for "Alarm, alarm, there is alarm on the ship", over the public address system, which was followed immediately by an internal alarm for the crew, then one minute later by the general lifeboat alarm. The vessel's rapid list and the flooding prevented many people in the cabins from ascending to the boat deck, as water not only flooded the vessel via the car deck, but also through windows in cabins as well as the massive windows along deck 6. The windows gave way to the powerful waves as the ship listed and the sea reached the upper decks. Survivors reported that water flowed down from ceiling panels, stairwells and along corridors from decks that were not yet under water. This contributed to the rapid sinking. A mayday was communicated by the ship's crew at 01:22, but did not follow international formats. Estonia directed a call to Silja Europa and only after making contact with her did the radio operator utter the word "Mayday". The radio operator on Silja Europa, chief mate Teijo Seppelin, replied in English: "Estonia, are you calling mayday?" After that, the voice of third mate Andres Tammes took over on Estonia and the conversation shifted to Finnish. Tammes was able to provide some details about their situation but, due to a loss of power, he could not give their position, which delayed rescue operations somewhat. Some minutes later, power returned (or somebody on the bridge managed to lower himself to the starboard side of the bridge to check the marine GPS, which will display the ship's position even in blackout conditions), and the Estonia was able to radio its position to Silja Europa and Mariella. The ship disappeared from the radar screens of other ships at around 01:50, and sank at in international waters, about 22 nautical miles (41 km; 25 mi) on bearing 157° from Utö island, Finland, to the depth of 74 to 85 metres (243 to 279 ft) of water. According to survivor accounts, the ship sank stern first after taking a list of 90 degrees.
Search and rescue followed arrangements set up under the 1979 International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (the SAR Convention), and the nearest Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre MRCC Turku coordinated the effort in accordance with Finland's plans. The Baltic is one of the world's busiest shipping areas, with 2,000 vessels at sea at any time, and these plans assumed the ship's own boats and nearby ferries would provide immediate help and that helicopters could be airborne after an hour. This scheme had worked for the relatively small number of accidents involving sinkings, particularly as most ships have few people on board.
Mariella, the first of five ferries to reach the scene of the accident, arrived at 02:12. MRCC Turku failed to acknowledge the Mayday immediately and Mariella's report was relayed by Helsinki Radio as the less urgent pan-pan message. A full-scale emergency was only declared at 02:30. Mariella winched open liferafts into the sea onto which 13 people on Estonia's rafts successfully transferred, and reported the location of other rafts to Swedish and Finnish rescue helicopters, the first of which arrived at 03:05. The former took survivors to shore, while the latter—Finnish border guard helicopters Super Puma OH-HVG and Agusta Bell 412 OH-HVD—chose the riskier option of landing on the ferries. The pilot of OH-HVG stated that landing on the ferries was the most difficult part of the whole rescue operation; despite that, this single helicopter rescued 44 people, more than all the ferries. MS Isabella saved 16 survivors with its rescue slide.
Of the 989 on board, 138 were rescued, one of whom died later in hospital. Ships rescued 34 and helicopters 104; the ferries played a much smaller part than the planners had intended because it was too dangerous to launch their man-overboard (MOB) boats or lifeboats. The accident claimed 852 lives. Most died by drowning and hypothermia, as the water temperature was 10–11 °C/50–52 °F. One of the victims of the sinking was the Estonian singer Urmas Alender. In total, 94 bodies were recovered: 93 within 33 days of the accident, the last victim was found 18 months later. By the time the rescue helicopters arrived, around a third of those who escaped from the Estonia had died of hypothermia, while fewer than half of those who had managed to leave the ship were eventually rescued. The survivors of the shipwreck were mostly young males with strong constitutions. Seven over 55 years of age survived and there were no survivors under age 12. About 650 people were still inside the ship when it sank.[JAIC 2] The commission estimated that up to 310 passengers reached the outer decks, 160 of whom boarded the life-rafts or lifeboats.
Effects of the disaster
Official investigation and report
The wreck was examined and videotaped by remotely operated underwater vehicles and by divers from a Norwegian company, Rockwater A/S, contracted for the investigation work.[JAIC 4] The official report indicated that the locks on the bow door had failed from the strain of the waves and the door had separated from the rest of the vessel, pulling the ramp behind it ajar.[JAIC 5] The bow visor and ramp had been torn off at points that would not trigger an "open" or "unlatched" warning on the bridge, as is the case in normal operation or failure of the latches. The bridge was also situated too far back on the ferry for the visor to be seen from there.[JAIC 6] While there was video monitoring of the inner ramp, the monitor on the bridge was not visible from the conning station.[JAIC 7] The bow visor was under-designed, as manufacturing and approval process did not consider the visor and its attachments as critical items regarding ship safety. The first metallic bang was believed to have been the sound of the visor's lower locking mechanism failing, and subsequent noises were the visor 'flapping' against the hull as the other locks failed, before tearing free and exposing the bow ramp. The subsequent failure of the bow ramp allowed water into the vehicle deck, which was identified as the main cause of the capsizing and sinking: RORO ferries with their wide vehicle decks are particularly vulnerable to capsizing if the car deck is even slightly flooded because of free surface effect: the fluid's swirling motion across such a large area hampers the boat's ability to right itself after rolling with a wave. The same effect caused the capsizing of MS Herald of Free Enterprise seven years earlier.
The report was critical of the crew's actions, particularly for failing to reduce speed before investigating the noises emanating from the bow, and for being unaware that the list was being caused by water entering the vehicle deck. There were also general criticisms of the delays in sounding the alarm, the passivity of the crew, and the lack of guidance from the bridge.
Recommendations for modifications to be applied to similar ships included separation of the condition sensors from the latch and hinge mechanisms.[JAIC 8]
Changes stemming from the disaster
In 1999, special training requirements in crowd and crisis management and human behaviour were extended to crew on all passenger ships, and amendments were made to watch-keeping standards. Estonia's distress beacons or EPIRBs required manual activation, which did not happen. Had they been activated automatically, it would have been immediately obvious that the ship had sunk and the location would have been clear. All EPIRBs were subsequently required to deploy automatically and the accident was "instrumental in the move to legislate Voyage Data Recorders". New International Maritime Organization (IMO) Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) liferaft regulations for rescue from listing ships in rough water were introduced, though launching such craft, even in training exercises, remains dangerous for the crew.
New designs, the "citadel concept" once again influenced by Estonia, aim to ensure damaged ships have sufficient buoyancy to remain afloat, though cost will determine if any are built. SOLAS 90, which came into effect in 2010, specifies existing passenger ships' stability requirements and those in North West Europe must also be able to survive 50 centimetres (20 in) of water on the car deck.
Alternative theories exist about the cause of the sinking. German journalist Jutta Rabe and the left-wing magazine New Statesman claim that laboratory tests on debris recovered illegally from Estonia's bow yielded trace evidence of a deliberate explosion, which they allege was concealed by the Swedish, British, and Russian governments to cover up an intelligence operation smuggling military hardware via the civilian ferry. Members of the Joint Accident Investigation Commission denied these claims, saying that the damage seen on the debris occurred during the visor's detachment from the vessel. The JAIC cited results from Germany's Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, which found that Jutta Rabe's samples did not prove an explosion occurred.
Transportation of military equipment
In the autumn of 2004, a former Swedish customs officer claimed on Sveriges Television that Estonia had been used to transport military equipment in September 1994. The Swedish and Estonian governments subsequently launched separate investigations, which both confirmed that non-explosive military equipment was aboard the ship on 14 and 20 September 1994. According to the Swedish Ministry of Defence, no such equipment was on board on the day of the disaster, and previous investigations by the Swedish Customs Service found no reports of any anomalous activity around the day of the disaster.
2020 Swedish documentary
On 28 September 2020 a Swedish documentary was released which used underwater equipment to film the wreck. This investigation found a 4-metre hole in the ship's hull. This prompted the Estonian prime minister and foreign minister to meet with their Swedish and Finnish equivalents and announce that a "new technical investigation" would take place. The head of the Estonian investigation stated publicly that he believes this new information points to a collision with a submarine and that the hole could not have happened post-sinking.
Protection of the wreck
In the aftermath of the disaster, many relatives of the deceased demanded that their loved ones be raised from international waters and given a land burial. Demands were also made that the entire ship be raised so that the cause of the disaster could be discovered by detailed inspection. Citing the practical difficulties and the moral implications of raising decaying bodies from the sea floor (the majority of the bodies were never recovered), and fearing the financial burden of lifting the entire hull to the surface and the salvage operation, the Swedish government suggested burying the whole ship in situ with a shell of concrete. As a preliminary step, thousands of tons of pebbles were dropped on the site. The Estonia Agreement 1995, a treaty among Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Denmark, Russia and the United Kingdom, declared sanctity over the site, prohibiting their citizens from even approaching the wreck. The treaty is, however, only binding for citizens of the countries that are signatories. At least twice, the Swedish Navy has discovered diving operations at the wreck. The wreck's location is monitored by radar by the Finnish Navy.
Decks and facilities
The MS Estonia consisted of 11 decks, counting from the lowest (0) to the highest (10). Passenger facilities were located on decks 6, 5, 4, 1, while the crew members occupied the decks 9 and 7. Decks 2 and 3 were dedicated to the respective cargo.
As Viking Sally
|7||Crew cabins & facilities, sundeck|
|6||Restaurant deck – Buffet dining room, à la carte restaurant, bar, outside and inside cabins|
|5||Entrance & cafeteria deck – Tax-free shops, cafeteria, snack bar, discotheque, air seats, children's playroom, outside and inside cabins|
|4||Conference deck – Conference rooms, nightclub, cinema, inside and outside cabins|
|1||Inside cabins, engine room|
|0||Sauna, swimming pool, conference rooms|
The sinking of the Estonia has been the subject of a number of documentaries in addition to the feature film Baltic Storm, including:
- History Channel: Sinking of the Estonia
- Zero Hour: The Sinking of the Estonia (2006)
- Built from Disaster: Ships (2009)
In addition, the disaster has inspired several musical works:
- Canticum Calamitatis Maritimae, a choral work by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi
- Incantatio maris aestuosi, a choral work by Veljo Tormis
- "Estonia", a song by Marillion
- "Ever so blue", a song by and performed by Rodrigo Fomins
- "Vedenalainen maailma", a song by Laura Sippola
- "Estonia hukk", a lament by
- Lamento, for organ ("Lament over the Estonia Catastrophe") by Erland von Koch
- List of RORO vessel accidents
- List of accidents and disasters by death toll
- List of shipwrecks in 1994
- Final report on the capsizing on 28 September 1994 in the Baltic Sea of the Ro-Ro passenger vessel MN Estonia, Chapter 3: The vessel. The Joint Accident Investigation Commission of Estonia, Finland and Sweden, December 1997.
- Soomer, H.; Ranta, H.; Penttilä, A. (2001). "Identification of victims from the M/S Estonia". International Journal of Legal Medicine. 114 (4–5): 259–262. doi:10.1007/s004140000180. PMID 11355406. S2CID 38587050.
- Boesten, E. (2006): The M/S Estonia Disaster and the Treatment of Human Remains. In: Bierens, J.J.L.M. (ed.): Handbook on Drowning: 650–652. ISBN 978-3-540-43973-8.
- "Estonia shipwreck investigator and nautical linguist Captain Uno Laur dies". ERR. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
- "Wasa King" (in Swedish). Vasabåtarna.se. Retrieved 29 October 2007.
- "M/S Viking Sally" (in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved 29 October 2007.
- "Viking Sally schedules 1980–1990" (in Finnish). FCBS Forum. Retrieved 29 October 2007.
- "Simplon Postcards: Viking Sally – Wasa King – Silja Star – Estonia". Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "MS Wellamo (1986)" (in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved 29 October 2007.
- "The Sinking of the Estonia." Surviving Disaster. BBC.[dead link]
- "Final report on the MV ESTONIA disaster of 28 September 1994". onse.fi. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- Whittingham, The Blame Machine, p. 137
- Whittingham, The Blame Machine, p. 138
- "Wave height records in the Baltic Sea". Finnish Meteorological Institute. Archived from the original on 30 September 2009.
- "Estonia final report. 2.1 The Distress Communication". estoniaferrydisaster.net. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
- HELCOM reports a noticeable drop in shipping accidents in the Baltic Archived 27 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 21 October 2007
- "Improving passenger ship safety" (PDF). Directorate-General for Transport and Energy (European Commission). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2007.
- Joughin, R.W. "The Revised SOLAS Regulations for Ro-Ro Ferries". Warsah Maritime Centre. Archived from the original on 3 April 2008. Retrieved 3 April 2008.
- Whittingham, The Blame Machine, p. 139
- Whittingham, The Blame Machine, pp. 139–40
- Whittingham, The Blame Machine, p. 142
- "Passenger information required on all passenger ships from 1 January 1999". International Maritime Organization. Archived from the original on 12 November 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2007.
- Simplified Voyage Data Recorders -Why choose float free Archived 12 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 22 October 2007
- Liferaft Systems Australia: Maib Interim Safety Recommendation on The Use of Vertical Chute Type Marine Evacuation Systems Archived 29 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 21 October 2007
- Sturcke, James (6 March 2007). "Herald of sea changes". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 November 2007.
- Davis, Stephen (23 May 2005). "Death in the Baltic: the MI6 connection". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 12 July 2005. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- Tukkimäki, Paavo (20 February 2001). "Finnish Estonia Commission members still reject explosion theories". Helsingin Sanomat. Archived from the original on 12 May 2011.
- Borgnäs, Lars (Fall 2004). "War materials smuggled on Estonia". Uppdrag granskning. Sveriges Television. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
- "Utredningen om transport av försvarsmateriel på M/S Estonia" (in Swedish). Ministry of Defence (Sweden). 21 January 2005.
- "Riigikogu Committee of Investigation to Ascertain the Circumstances Related to the Export of Military Equipment from the Territory of the Republic of Estonia on the Ferry Estonia in 1994 – Final Report". Riigikogu. 19 December 2006. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011.
- Tambur, Silver (28 September 2020). "Documentary: MS Estonia has a large hole in the hull". Estonian World. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
- Kristjan Kallaste (29 September 2020). "Head of MS Estonia investigation: Estonia sank on collision with submarine". Eesti Rahvusringhääling. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
- Wallius, Anniina (29 September 2004). "Estonian tuho lietsoi salaliittoteorioita" (in Finnish). YLE. Archived from the original on 12 May 2011.
- Whittingham, The Blame Machine, p. 140
- "Justitieutskottets betänkande 1994/95: JuU23 Gravfrid över m/s Estonia" (in Swedish). The Riksdag. 18 May 1995.
- "Chapter 50: Övertäckningen stoppas". En granskning av Estoniakatastrofen och dess följder. Statens offentliga utredningar (in Swedish). SOU 1998:132. Statens offentliga utredningar.
- "Agreement between the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden regarding the M/S Estonia". Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Sweden). 23 February 1995.
- Danné, Ulla; Nilsson, Birgitta /TT (18 May 1998). "Sjöfartsverket höll tyst om stoppade Estonia-dykare". Aftonbladet (in Swedish).
- "Viking Sally deck plan". Viking Line brochure (in Finnish, Swedish, and English). Vasabåtarna.se. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
- "Viking Sally General Arrangement plan". Vasabåtarna.se. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
- "Viking Sally Restaurant deck 6 plan". Viking Line brochure (in Swedish and Finnish). Vasabåtarna.se. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
- "Viking Sally Conference deck 4 plan". Viking Line brochure (in Swedish and Finnish). Vasabåtarna.se. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
- "Viking Sally cutaway". Viking Line brochure (in Swedish, Finnish, and English). Vasabåtarna.se. Retrieved 20 December 2008.
- "Built From Disaster Season 1 Episode 2: Ships". TV Guide. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
- Whittingham, Robert B. (2004). "Design errors". The Blame Machine: why human error causes accidents. Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 0-7506-5510-0.
- "Final report on the MV ESTONIA disaster of 28 September 1994". Helsinki: Joint Accident Investigation Commission. 1997. Archived from the original on 2 June 2001. Cite journal requires
|journal=(help)CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- "Chapter 11.3 – The DIANA II incident". Archived from the original on 2 June 2001. Cite journal requires
- "Chapter 7.6 – The human outcome". Archived from the original on 2 June 2001. Cite journal requires
- "Chapter 5.4 – Meteorological conditions". Archived from the original on 2 June 2001. Cite journal requires
- "Condition Survey of the Vessel "Estonia" for the Swedish National Maritime Administration. Survey Report. (Supplement No. 503)" (PDF). Rockwater A/S. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 May 2011. Cite journal requires
- "Chapter 13.5 – Failure sequence of bow visor and ramp". Archived from the original on 2 June 2001. Cite journal requires
- "Figure 3.4 Approximate field of vision from the bridge. (Chapter 3.2.7 – Bridge layout)". Archived from the original on 2 June 2001. Cite journal requires
- "Chapter 13.4 – Advance indications and alarms from the bow area". Archived from the original on 2 June 2001. Cite journal requires
- "Chapter 22 – Recommendations". Archived from the original on 2 June 2001. Cite journal requires
- Carlqvist, Knut (2001). Tysta leken. Fischer & Co. ISBN 91-7054-917-6.
- The German 'Group of Experts' (2006). Investigation report on the capsizing on 28 September 1994 in the Baltic Sea of the Ro-Ro Passenger Vessel MV Estonia
- Johnson, Kent L. & Smith, Kenneth M.Jr. (June 2009) "Failure Analysis of the Estonia." Advanced Materials & Processes 167(6): 29–33. 
- The Joint Accident Investigation Commission, Animated video (4 min) of the damage to visor and ramp.
- Rabe, Jutta (2001), Die Estonia. Tragödie eines Schiffsuntergangs(The Estonia. Tragedy of a ship setting), Bielefeld: Delius Klasing, ISBN 3-7688-1267-7.
- Rabe, Jutta (2004). The Case Estonia – A journalist searching for the truth. Video report about the investigation of the sinking of the Estonia.
- Langewiesche, William (2005). The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0-86547-722-1.
- Langewiesche, William, A Sea Story, The Atlantic Magazine, May 2004.
- Limburg, Peter R. (2005), "Deep-Sea Detectives: Maritime Mysteries and Forensic Science". New York: ASJA Press. ISBN 978-0-595-37604-9.
- Wilson, Drew (2006), "The Hole: Another look at the sinking of the Estonia Ferry on September 28th 1994". Liskeard: Exposure. ISBN 978-1-84685-132-2.
- Ångström, Lars. Report to the Chancellor of Justice in Sweden, 12 September 2006
- "1994: Hundreds feared dead in ferry disaster". BBC News. 28 September 1994. Retrieved 5 August 2008.
- "Chronological narrative of the sinking by City Paper". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-18.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- Passenger vessel Evacuation descriptions, p29. Det Norske Veritas.
- Safety at Sea Ltd (UK). A collection of scientific papers on the sinking presented in maritime experts' meetings.
- Estonian/Finnish/Swedish Accident Investigation Commission (JAIC) Final Report
- The ESTONIA accident 1994 – Swedish Accident Investigation Board
- MV Estonia – Accident Investigation Board of Finland
- Estoniasamlingen – In Swedish. Governmental resource of material relevant to the catastrophe.
- The Mayday call from Estonia (audio)
- Transcript of radio communication
- Estonia Litigation Association – Organization of Relatives and Victims Pressing for Truth through Litigation
- Ferry-Site.dk historic images of Viking Sally and Silja Star
-  Recording of Jaakko Mäntyjärvi composition: Canticum Calamitatis Maritimae about the disaster
- Photos of the memorial for the sunken Estonia at sites-of-memory.de
- YouTube: Complete radio conversations (audio)
- YouTube: MS Estonia - discovering the hole
The 3-time Formula One world champion Ayrton Senna is killed in an accident whilst leading the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.
Brazil’s three-time Formula One world champion Senna was killed in an accident during the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola on May 1st, 1994. The circuit is being opened to the public from the 20th anniversary on Thursday through to May 4th.
Roland Ratzenberger, the Austrian driver who died the day before Senna in a crash on the same track during qualifying, will also be remembered.
Past and current figures from F1 are set to be present for a series of events, from which a part of each day’s proceeds will go towards the Ayrton Senna Institute’s charitable works.
Around the Imola site – where the paddock and pits will be open and people will be able to either drive, cycle or travel on foot around the track – there will be a commemorative ceremony, as well as exhibitions and talks, including a presentation on safety in F1.
A lasting legacy of the deaths of Senna and Ratzenberger was the impact they had on the attitudes towards driver safety in the sport. It is testament to the measures implemented since, that Senna, who was 34, remains the last driver to die over the course of an F1 weekend.
The Sao Paulo native was truly a sporting superstar at the time of his death, and has attained almost demigod status in his home country. He made his F1 debut in 1984 with Toleman and, after moving to Lotus, secured two fourth-placed championship finishes and then third spot in 1987.
In 1988 he joined McLaren as team-mate to Alain Prost, and from there, one of the greatest rivalries in F1 history played out.
Senna pipped the Frenchman to the title that year, saw Prost take it ahead of him in 1989, and was then crowned champion in each of the following two seasons, becoming the then-youngest three-time champion in history in 1991 at the age of 31.
In 1992 he came fourth and was then second in 1993 as Prost, who had moved to Williams, claimed his fourth title.
Senna finally joined Williams himself for the 1994 campaign, with Prost deciding to retire as he refused to be his team-mate again. The Brazilian made his worst start to a season with two retirements in the opening two races. The third race, which proved to be his last, was at Imola.
Senna, who was leading at the time, crashed on lap seven, smashing into a wall at the Tamburello Curve and sustaining fatal head injuries.
Brazil’s president Itamar Franco ordered three days of national mourning, and when Senna’s body was flown back to his home city, an estimated three million people lined the streets to pay their respects as it made a 20-mile journey from the airport to the building where he lay in state.
Once there, the queue of those who wished to pay their last respects is understood to have stretched for three miles, some suggesting it was seven hours before the last of the 200,000 mourners shuffled past.
Aeroflot Flight 593 crashed in, Kemerovo Oblast, Russia, killing 75.
Aeroflot Flight 593 was a regular passenger flight from Sheremetyevo International Airport, Moscow, to Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong. On 23 March 1994, the aircraft operating the route, an Airbus A310-304 flown by Aeroflot – Russian International Airlines, crashed into a mountain range in Kemerovo Oblast, Russia, killing all 63 passengers and 12 crew members on board.
No evidence of a technical malfunction was found. Cockpit voice and flight data recorders revealed the presence of the relief pilot’s 12-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son on the flight deck. While seated at the controls, the pilot’s son had unknowingly disengaged the A310’s autopilot control of the aircraft’s ailerons. The autopilot then disengaged completely causing the aircraft to roll into a steep bank and a near-vertical dive. Despite managing to level the aircraft, the first officer over-corrected when pulling up, causing the plane to stall and enter into a corkscrew dive; the pilots managed to level the aircraft off once more, but by then the plane had lost too much altitude to recover and crashed into the Kuznetsk Alatau mountain range.
The aircraft involved in the accident was a leased Airbus A310-304, registration F-OGQS, serial number 596, that was delivered new to Aeroflot on 11 December 1992. Powered with two General Electric CF6-80C2A2 engines, the airframe had its maiden flight as F-WWCS on 11 September 1991, and was one of five operating for Russian Airlines, an autonomous division of Aeroflot – Russian International Airlines that was set up for serving routes to the Russian Far East and Southeast Asia. On average, the crew of three operating the aircraft had logged 900 hours on the type.
The captain of Flight 593 was Andrey Viktorovich Danilov, 40, who was hired by Aeroflot in November 1992. He had accrued over 9,675 hours of flight time, including 950 hours in the A310, of which 895 hours were as captain. The first officer was Igor Vasilyevich Piskaryov, 33, hired by Aeroflot in October 1993, who had 5,885 hours of flight time, including 440 hours in the A310. The relief pilot was Yaroslav Vladimirovich Kudrinsky, 39, who was hired by Aeroflot in November 1992; he had over 8,940 flying hours, including 907 hours in the A310. Kudrinsky also had experience in the Yakovlev Yak-40, Antonov An-12, and Ilyushin Il-76. There were nine flight attendants on board the plane.
On 23 March 1994, the jet aircraft was en route from Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow to Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong with 75 occupants aboard, of whom 63 were passengers. Most of the passengers were businessmen from Hong Kong and Taiwan who were looking for economic opportunities in Russia.
Relief pilot Kudrinsky was taking his two children on their first international flight, and they were brought to the cockpit while he was on duty. Five people were thus on the flight deck: Kudrinsky, co-pilot Piskaryov, Kudrinsky’s children Eldar and Yana, and another pilot, Vladimir Makarov, who was flying as a passenger.
With the autopilot active, Kudrinsky, against regulations, let the children sit at the controls. First, his daughter Yana took the pilot’s left front seat. Kudrinsky adjusted the autopilot’s heading to give her the impression that she was turning the plane, though she actually had no control of the aircraft. Shortly thereafter, Kudrinsky’s son Eldar occupied the pilot’s seat. Unlike his sister, Eldar applied enough force to the control column to contradict the autopilot for 30 seconds. This caused the flight computer to switch the plane’s ailerons to manual control while maintaining control over the other flight systems. A silent indicator light came on to alert the pilots to this partial disengagement. The pilots, who had previously flown Russian-designed planes which had audible warning signals, apparently failed to notice it.
Eldar was the first to notice a problem, when he observed that the plane was banking right. Shortly after, the flight path indicator changed to show the new flight path of the aircraft as it turned. Since the turn was continuous, the resulting predicted flight path drawn on screen was a 180-degree turn. This indication is similar to those shown when in a holding pattern, where a 180-degree turn is required to remain in a stable position. This confused the pilots for nine seconds, during which time the plane banked past a 45-degree angle to almost 90 degrees, steeper than the design allowed. The A310 cannot turn this steeply while maintaining height, and the plane started to lose altitude quickly. The increased g-forces on the pilots and crew made it extremely difficult for them to regain control. The autopilot, which no longer controlled the ailerons, used its other controls in order to compensate, pitching the nose up and increasing thrust; as a result the plane began to stall; the autopilot, unable to cope, disengaged completely. A second, larger indicator light came on to alert the pilots of the complete disengagement, and this time they did notice it. At the same time, the autopilot’s display screen went blank. To recover from the stall, an automatic system lowered the nose and put the plane into a nosedive. The reduced g-forces enabled Kudrinsky to re-take his seat. Piskaryov then managed to pull out of the dive, but over-corrected, putting the plane in an almost vertical ascent, again stalling the plane, which fell out of the sky into a corkscrew dive. Although Kudrinsky and Piskaryov regained control and leveled out the wings, they did not know how far they had descended during the crisis and their altitude by then was too low to recover. The plane crashed at high vertical speed, estimated at 70 m/s. All 75 occupants died from impact.
The aircraft crashed with its landing gear up, and all passengers had been prepared for an emergency, as they were strapped into their seats. No distress calls were made prior to the crash. Despite the struggles of both pilots to save the aircraft, it was later concluded that if they had just let go of the control column, the autopilot would have automatically taken action to prevent stalling, thus avoiding the accident.
The wreckage was located on a remote hillside in the Kuznetsk Alatau mountain chain, approximately 20 kilometres east of Mezhdurechensk, Kemerovo Oblast, Russia; the flight data recorders were found on the second day of searching. Families of western victims placed flowers on the crash site, while families of Chinese victims scattered pieces of paper with messages written on them around the crash site.
The airline originally denied that the children were in the cockpit, but accepted the fact when the Moscow-based magazine Obozrevatel published the transcript on the week of Wednesday, 28 September 1994. The Associated Press said that, according to the transcript, “the Russian crew almost succeeded in saving the plane”. The New York Times said that “A transcript of the tape printed in the magazine Obozrevatel shows that the Russian crew nearly managed to save the Airbus plane and the 75 people on board, but that it was hampered by the presence of children and its unfamiliarity with the foreign-made plane.” The New York Times also stated that an analysis by an aviation expert published in Rossiiskiye Vesti supported that analysis.
The first female priests are ordained by the Church of England.
Since the Church of England’s split with Rome in 1534, it’s always trodden a dainty path between the Catholicism of the High Church, and the Protestantism of the Reformation. That’s meant a fair few compromises. But one thing it didn’t compromise on for nearly 400 years was ordaining women as priests.
The idea was first tentatively floated in 1920. But it took until 1975 for the General Synod to pass a motion saying it had “no fundamental objections” to the ordination of women to the priesthood. But it didn’t actually do anything concrete about it.
In 1985 it passed laws allowing women to be deacons. But understandably, pressure continued to allow women into the priesthood.
That didn’t happen for a while. In 1988, the General Synod approved the draft legislation to allow women priests. It finally voted in favour of women priests in 1992, after a five-hour debate – and by just two votes.
And so, on 12 March 1994 in Bristol Cathedral, 32 women were ordained as priests.
But a lot of people weren’t happy. In fact, 400 vicars were so opposed to the idea of women priests that they flounced off en masse to the Roman Catholic Church.
And for those who stayed, but who couldn’t abide the idea of a woman in the pulpit, the rather bonkers plan of ‘flying bishops’ was devised – traditionalist bishops who could swoop down from on high, bringing manly ministrations to parishes who wanted their vicar to be a chap.
It took another 20 years for the even more outlandish idea of women bishops to be accepted, however. The Church only formally adopted legislation to allow that in November 2014. The Rt Rev Libby Lane, was ordained as the Bishop of Stockport in January 2015.
The PlayStation was first released in Japan.
On December 3, 1994, the PlayStation was finally released in Japan, one week after the Sega Saturn. The initial retail cost was 37,000 yen, or about $387. Software available at launch included King’s Field, Crime Crackers, and Namco’s Ridge Racer, the PlayStation’s first certifiable killer app. It was met with long lines across Japan, and was hailed by Sony as their most important product since the WalkMan in the late 1970’s.
Also available at launch were a host of peripherals, including: a memory card to save high scores and games; a link cable, whereby you could connect two PlayStations and two TVs and play against a friend; a mouse with pad for PC ports; an RFU Adaptor; an S-Video Adaptor; and a Multitap Unit. Third party peripherals were also available, including Namco’s Negcon.
The look of the PlayStation was dramatically different than the Saturn, which was beige (in Japan), bulky, and somewhat clumsy looking. In contrast, the PlayStation was slim, sleek, and gray, with a revolutionary controller that was years ahead of the Saturn’s SNES-like pad. The new PSX joypad provided unheardof control by adding two more buttons on the shoulder, making a total of eight buttons. The two extended grips also added a new element of control. Ken Kutaragi realized the importance of control when dealing with 3 Dimensional game worlds. “We probably spent as much time on the joypad’s development as the body of the machine. Sony’s boss showed special interest in achieving the final version so it has his seal of approval.” To Sony’s delight, the PlayStation sold more than 300,000 units in the first 30 days. The Saturn claimed to have sold 400,000, but research has shown that number to be misleading. The PSX sold through (to customers) 97% of its stock, while many Saturns were still sitting on the shelves. These misleading numbers were to be quoted by Sega on many occasions, and continued even after the US launch.
The chemical element darmstadtium is discovered.
Darmstadtium is a synthetic chemical element with symbol Ds and atomic number 110. It is an extremely radioactive synthetic element. The most stable known isotope, darmstadtium-281, has a half-life of approximately 10 seconds. Darmstadtium was first created in 1994 by the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research near the city of Darmstadt, Germany, after which it was named.
In the periodic table, it is a d-block transactinide element. It is a member of the 7th period and is placed in the group 10 elements, although no chemical experiments have yet been carried out to confirm that it behaves as the heavier homologue to platinum in group 10 as the eighth member of the 6d series of transition metals. Darmstadtium is calculated to have similar properties to its lighter homologues, nickel, palladium, and platinum.
Darmstadtium was first created on November 9, 1994, at the Institute for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany, by Peter Armbruster and Gottfried Münzenberg, under the direction of Sigurd Hofmann. The team bombarded a lead-208 target with accelerated nuclei of nickel-62 in a heavy ion accelerator and detected a single atom of the isotope darmstadtium.
In the same series of experiments, the same team also carried out the reaction using heavier nickel-64 ions. During two runs, 9 atoms of 271Ds were convincingly detected by correlation with known daughter decay properties.
The chemical element ‘darmstadtium’ is first discovered.
Darmstadtium was discovered by S. Hofmann, V. Ninov, F. P. Hessberger, P. Armbruster, H. Folger, G. Münzenberg, H. J. Schött, and others in 1994 at Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany.The name darmstadtium lies within the long established tradition of naming an element after the place of its discovery, Darmstadt, in Germany.
On the 9th of November 1994,the first atom of element 110, darmstadtium, was detected at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany. The isotope discovered has an atomic number of 269 that is 269 times heavier than hydrogen.The new element was produced by fusing a nickel and a lead atom together. This was achieved by accelerating the nickel atoms to a high energy in the heavy ion accelerator UNILAC at GSI. Over a period of many days, many billion billion nickel atoms were fired at a lead target in order to produce and identify a single atom of darmstadtium.