3 trapped, 8 swallowing missing Greece after flames-Italy ferry


Corfu, Greece — Nine passengers went missing after a Greek-to-Italy ferry burned early Friday and firefighters fought to rescue people trapped in a ship, officials said. Stated.

When the fire broke out, a total of 240 passengers and 51 crew members boarded the Italian-registered Euroferry Olympia, and most rescue vessels moved to Corfu, where ambulances were waiting.

“It was very unrealistic and a bit like Titanic, but it was realistic,” David Waller, a 58-year-old truck driver who was rescued and staying at a hotel in Corfu, told Reuters. rice field.

Greek ferry fire
On February 18, 2022, firefighters hose a burning Euroferry Olympia with 291 people on board near Corfu Island, Greece. (Ministry of Defense of Albania via AP)

Greek fire brigades said two men trapped in the ship’s garage were rescued and lifted by helicopter. One of them was not on the official list of missing persons. Firefighters were trying to reach at least three other trapped.

The ship’s owner, Grimaldi Lines, previously stated that tugs are sailing towards the area to assist in the recovery of the ship.

Aerial footage broadcast by the Coast Guard showed a row of burning trucks on a blackened deck after a flame blew through a 183 meter (600 feet) ferry that had been traveling for nine hours all night.

Greek ferry fire
Passengers will arrive at the port on Corfu Island in northwestern Greece after evacuating the ferry on February 18, 2022. (Stamatis Katopodis / InTime News via AP)

“The worst thing is that the cars in the garage are glued side by side. There is no way out,” said an unnamed Greek truck driver after arriving at Corfu.

The cause of the flame is still under investigation, according to Greek officials.

Greek health ministry officials told state television that at least 10 people had been taken to Corfu Hospital, most of whom had breathing problems.

According to one video, at the beginning of Friday, passengers wore a yellow blanket on an Italian rescue ship while a large amount of smoke was erupting from the ferry. In the footage uploaded to the Greek news website Proto Thema, the word “Mayday” was repeatedly echoed from the speakers.

The ferry departed from Igoumenitsa, the largest port in western Greece, to Brindisi, Italy. According to Grimaldi Lines, 153 vehicles were carried, many of them trucks.

A fire broke out when the ship was near Corfu Island in the Ionian Sea. Hours after the alarm was issued, the ship was still burning and drifting in the waters of Albania, Grimaldilines said, adding that there was no fuel spill or damage to the environment.

Bulgarian truck driver Lumen Metdiev told the Bulgarian BNT channel, “I smelled smoke from 3:30 to 4 am.” “The truck and the paperwork all burned. I didn’t have a chance to put out the fire,” he said.

The Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said 127 citizens were involved.

Grimaldi Lines spokesman Paul Kiprianou told Reuters that there were signs that the fire had begun in one of its holds. He added that the company made every effort to ensure that passengers (mostly from Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey) could return home.

“The flames were incredibly high. When it happened, we were a few miles away from the ferry,” said Coronero Felice Rodovico Simone Cicchetti, an Italian financial police officer who participated in the rescue operation. ..

“The fire was so big and fast that it got out of hand for those on board in five minutes.”

In 2014, a car ferry Norman Atlantic with 466 passengers and crew ignited during a voyage from Greece to Italy, killing 10 people.

Lefteris Papadimas and Angelo Amante

Reuters

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