A British national and a Croatian national were arrested as suspects in Sweden’s preliminary investigation into the collision, according to a press release from the Swedish Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Prosecutors added that the investigations into “badly drunk driving”, “gross negligence in maritime transport” and “gross killing of another” were in the early stages.
A ship capsized in the collision and two people are still missing, the authorities said. Ten boats and several helicopters had started looking for the duo, but the search and rescue operation at sea has since been canceled.
“The ship has now been towed into shallow waters so that Swedish Coast Guard divers can go in and look for survivors or injuries,” Fredrik StrÃ¶mbÃ¤ck, communications officer at the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA), told CNN.
The pair likely wouldn’t have survived long in the cold winter waters, but they could live in an air pocket in their hull, Reuters reported.
The ships collided between the Swedish city of Ystad and the Danish island of Bornholm at around 3:30 p.m. Central European time.
The accident occurred in Swedish territorial waters and both ships were heading in the same direction, Reuters reported.
One of the two, Karin Hoej, sailing under the Danish flag, capsized. Two people believed to be aboard the 55-meter (180-foot) ship were not held accountable, according to the SMA. Authorities said it assumed the Karin Hoej was not carrying goods at the time of the crash and had a reduced crew.
The other ship, the Scot Carrier, does not appear to have sustained any major damage. The Scot Carrier is 90 meters long and registered in the UK. The owner Scotline told Reuters the company could not comment on the details of the incident but said it was cooperating and assisting the authorities.
The Danish Ministry of Defense’s Joint Operations Center could not immediately tell whether any of the ships had dangerous cargo on board.
â€œThe upside-down Danish ship is a relatively small ship, so it has so little oil on board. We’re not worried about that at the moment, â€according to Reuters.
Data from MarineTraffic.com showed that the Karin Hoej was traveling to the southern Danish city of Nykobing Falster. The Scot Carrier was routed from Salacgriva, Latvia to the Scottish city of Montrose.