Corfu Island, Greece — Twelve people are missing after a fire broke out on a Greek-to-Italy ferry early Friday, Greek officials said on Saturday.
Live footage of Reuters showed that smoke was erupting from the Italian-flagged Euroferry Olympia Ferry while firefighters from a nearby ship were spraying water on a burning ship.
When the flames broke out on Friday, a total of 241 passengers and 51 crew members were on board, and rescue vessels moved most of the 280 rescued to nearby Corfu Island.
A 183 meter (600 feet) ferry ignited on a nine-hour journey from Igoumenitsa, a port in western Greece, to Brindisi, Italy.
Missing passengers come from Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Lithuania, the Hellenic Coast Guard said.
Prosecutors have begun investigating the case, according to Greek state television.
Firefighters were trying to cool the ship’s scorching temperature before the paramedics boarded the ship to resume search operations, fire department officials said.
An aerial footage released by the Hellenic Coast Guard on Friday showed a row of burning trucks on a blackened deck after a flame blew through a ship owned by Grimaldiline.
Late Friday, Greek crew rescued two Bulgarian and Afghan citizens who were not on the official list of missing persons. They were taken to Corfu’s hospital, the company said in a statement.
The Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said 127 citizens were involved.
Most of the rescued people were taken to a hotel on Corfu, where some talked about their trials.
“I’ve been back and forth for years and have never experienced such a situation,” said Jorgos Parrazzas, a 50-year-old Greek truck driver who evacuated from a ship, from a hotel in Corfu. Said.
According to Grimaldi Lines, the ferry was carrying 153 vehicles.
The cause of the flame is under investigation and authorities will get more evidence if the ship is pulled to a safe place, shipping minister Jeannis Prachiotakis told Sky Television.
Lefteris Papadimas and Angelo Amante