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Fire on a ferry boat near Corfu, passengers evacuated

28 December 2014 / 17:12:24  GRReporter
2351 reads

A fire is blazing on board of Norman Atlantic, a roll-on/roll-off car ferry under the Italian flag, while performing its regular service trip from the Greek city of Patras to Ancona in Italy. The disaster was registered in the area of Othoni island, northwest of Corfu. 411 passengers, 56 crew members and 222 cars are reported on board of the disaster-stricken ferry.

The shipmaster has ordered the evacuation of passengers, many of whom have already been helped by the crew onto lifeboats and into the sea. Winds at the scene are violent, at 7-8 Beaufort, and it is raining.

A major rescue operation is underway, involving five helicopters and a C-100 air force cargo plane. The Minister of Shipping, Maritime Affairs and the Aegean has requested all ships in the area to help save Norman Atlantic’s passengers. The largest ship in the area, the Cruise Europa operated by Minoan, has assumed coordination of the rescue operation.

A passenger from the Norman Atlantic told Skai TV that most of the crew are Italians who do not speak English, hence communication has been rather poor between them and the majority of passengers, who are not Italian. 268 Greeks are reported on board, the numbers of other foreigners have not yet been mentioned. According to the latest information, the crew has managed to limit the fire, and a special fire-fighting vessel has set sail from Igoumenitsa and is on its way to the Norman Atlantic.

More details coming.

Tags: Norman Atlantic fire on board evacuation of passengers Corfu Othoni island rescue operation
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