In a move to enable further investigation into one of the worst maritime tragedies in modern history, the Finnish government has proposed temporarily lifting a law that protects the resting site of the doomed passenger ferry M/S Estonia, which sank in 1994.
Footage from a 2020 documentary film about the sinking appeared to show damage on the starboard side of the ship which had not been seen before.
The new images prompted Finland, Estonia and Sweden to announce plans to look into the reasons behind the catastrophe which claimed 852 lives in international waters when it sank in stormy conditions some 41 km from Finland's Utö island.
The site was eventually declared a protected final resting place for the victims of the tragedy, in which only 137 people survived.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Justice on Wednesday, the amendment would add a clause to the law protecting the site allowing authorities to carry out investigations of the wreckage.
The ministry said the law change was only temporary and, if approved, would be in force from 1 July 2021 until the end of 2024.