Welcome to a chapter of the e-book Disaster Investigation.
2.21 Sinking on the Stern. Water in the Engine Room
One of the few correct statements of the Commission is that the ship sank with the stern first. Why did the ship sink on the stern, if it were the compartments on deck 0 forward that was leaking as per the writer's assumptions? 3/E Treu has stated that the main engine room amidship was dry, when he left at 01.30 hrs (8), even if it is more probable that he had left the ECR 28 minutes earlier 1.48 and lied about everything. So we do not know, if the engine room was dry at, say 01.20 hrs.
Note that Treu was in the ECR located on the port side between two watertight bulkheads on deck 1. To check, if it were water in the engine room, Treu had to open a watertight door to look (it was probably already opened by Kadak, when he left earlier). As the ship was listing, all the water must have been on the starboard side - easy to spot. But we do not know, how Treu escaped from the ECR. In the Final report chapter 6 Treu in a few minutes at 01.25-01.30 hrs walks (sic) up (the list is 70 degrees) in the crew stairwell, the existence and location of which is not known. In (33) Treu escapes via the engine room and up the engine casing to the funnel. However - the easiest escape was to take the passenger stairwell from deck 1 just outside the ECR up to deck 4 and then up the main stairwell. This writer believes Treu took that way (after consulting with own crews how to escape from ECRs on other ships).
If we ignore the statement of Treu that the engine rooms were dry, it is possible that the water in the sauna/pool/conference compartments on deck 0 spread aft into the engine rooms after one (or more) watertight doors were opened amidships. The ship would then trim even and list more to starboard, until deck 4 aft was under water at about 01.20 hrs. It is then likely that more water flowed down into the car deck via the ventilators to the car deck on deck 4 aft, i.e. water flowed into the ship from another location after 01.20 hrs. Now the sinking accelerated. This water trimmed the ship on the stern and the combination of water in five, six compartments on deck 0 below the car deck and water on the 2 car deck aft sank the ship. The stern thus hit bottom at about 01.32 hrs, the starboard bridge wing (deck 9) came under water at 01.35 hrs (when the clock stopped) and the bow was under water soon after 2.26. That was the end!