On Friday morning, the vessel carrying the Italian flag was set on fire. Twelve people were initially missing.
Rescuers found one of the missing Euroferry Olympia passengers alive. The vessel caught on fire off Corfu (Greece) in the wee hours of Friday. It was headed for Brindisi in Italy.
Media reports claim that the man sustained no serious injuries. Greece’s minister for shipping and island policy, Giannis Plakiotakis, told Skai TV that the person is “possibly a Lithuanian citizen,”Get in touch with authorities “waiting for identification.”Numerous media outlets have claimed that the man was a Belarusian truck driver aged 21.
According to media reports citing Greek officials, rescuers spotted the passenger on the ferry’s stern, with Greek TV channels running footage that apparently depicts the moment the rescued man climbed down a stepladder onto a tugboat. The trucker’s first words were reportedly: “tell me if I am alive.”
When disaster struck, the ferry was carrying 241 passengers and 51 staff.
As 11 persons remain unaccounted for, a rescue operation is underway. Most of those missing, according to Greek authorities, are truck drivers who hail from Bulgaria, Greece Turkey and Lithuania. Some reports from the Greek media suggest that they might have chosen to stay in their cars on that fateful night when the ship was full.
Some passengers who were rescued described the fiery experience to the media. One trucker said to Reuters: “it was so unreal, it was a bit like the Titanic, but it was real.”One driver stated that he worried that he might not be able to make it alive.
To prevent the vessel from colliding with nearby ships, a tugboat has moored it in place. The blaze, the temperature of which at one point reportedly exceeded 600C, has been largely extinguished, with small fires continuing to burn in the ferry’s guts as of Sunday.
The Greek authorities briefly detained the ship’s captain and two other crew members for questioning before releasing them.
The Euroferry Olympia’s operator insists the vessel underwent a completed safety check on Wednesday.
Once the fire is completely put out and the fate of all missing passengers is ascertained, rescuers plan to pump out the remaining oil from the vessel’s tanks so it doesn’t leak into the sea. Once the vessel is safely towed, Italian and Greek investigators will begin to examine the remains to discover what set off the fire.
According to Greek officials, the incident is the deadliest at sea in many years. In fact, it was the same fire that claimed 22 lives aboard the Italian-owned passenger ship Norman Atlantic in the Adriatic Sea.
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