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In to the flames: Three trapped, 8 missing in Greece-Italy ferry fire

Smoke rises from the burning Italian-flagged Euroferry Olympia, after a fire broke out on the ferry, off the island of Corfu, Greece, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/Adonis Skordilis

Authorities stated that eight passengers were missing when a fire consumed a ferry heading from Greece to Italy early Friday. Fire officials were still struggling to save individuals trapped on board.

The news: When the fire broke out, there were 240 passengers and 51 staff members onboard the Italian-flagged Euroferry Olympia, and rescue vessels had evacuated the majority of them to the island of Corfu, where ambulances were waiting.

thAlbanian Coast Guard members try to extinguish the fire burning on the Italian-flagged Euroferry Olympia off the island of Corfu, Greece, February 18, 2022. ALBANIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE/Handout via REUTERS
Giorgios Parlatzas from Greece and other survivors of a fire on Italian-flagged Euroferry Olympia watch the news at the Sunrise hotel in Corfu, Greece, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
  • Two individuals trapped in the ship’s garage were rescued, according to the Greek fire department. Firefighters were attempting to reach three more people.
  • The ship’s owner, Grimaldi Lines, stated eight passengers were missing.
  • After flames rushed through the 183-metre (600-foot) ferry that had been on a nine-hour run through the night, the coastguard released aerial footage showing rows of burning trucks on the darkened deck.
  • Greek authorities stated the cause of the fire was still being probed.
  • A Greek health ministry spokesman informed state television that at least ten individuals had been taken to a Corfu hospital, the majority of them had breathing problems. There were no initial reports of serious injuries.
Two people are trapped on a ferry that was engulfed in a blaze as it sailed between Greece and Italy in the early hours of Friday, the Greek coastguard said, after scores of others passengers and crew members were rescued

What happened: Passengers huddled on yellow blankets on an Italian rescue vessel earlier on Friday as large plumes of smoke streamed out of the ferry, according to one video. In footage posted on the Greek news website Proto Thema, the words “May Day” were constantly blared from the speakers.

  • The ferry set sail from Igoumenitsa, western Greece’s main port, bound for the Italian city of Brindisi. Grimaldi Lines stated it carried 153 vehicles, several of which were trucks.
  • When the ship was near Corfu in the Ionian Sea, a fire broke out. The yacht was still blazing and drifting in Albanian waters hours after the alarm was raised, according to Grimaldi Lines.
Firefighters spray water as a fire burns on the Italian-flagged Euroferry Olympia off the island of Corfu, Greece, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/Adonis Skordilis

What they’re saying: “At around 3.30-4.00 a.m. I smelled smoke,” Rumen Metodiev, a Bulgarian truck driver, told Bulgaria’s BNT channel. “The trucks and the documents, everything burned. There was no chance to put out the fire,” he said.

  • Bulgaria’s foreign ministry said that 127 Bulgarians were on board.
  • A spokesman for Grimaldi Lines, Paul Kyprianou said there are indications that the fire started in one of the company’s holds. He stated that the airline was making every attempt to assist the passengers, most of whom were from Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey.
  • “The flames were incredibly high, we were a few miles away from the ferry when it happened,” said Colonello Felice Lodovico Simone Cicchetti from Italy’s financial police, who took part in the rescue operation.
  • “The fire was so big and fast that in a matter of five minutes it became unmanageable for the people aboard.”

The vehicle ferry Norman Atlantic, carrying 466 passengers and crew, caught fire in 2014 while travelling from Greece to Italy, killing ten people.

Passengers rescued from a ferry that caught fire as it was sailing from Greece to Italy gave their accounts of the ‘terrifying’ ordeal on Friday (February 18)
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