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live Italian ferry with Bulgarian passengers on board suffers an accident near Corfu

21 September 2014 / 15:09:34  GRReporter
4191 reads

A ferry sailing under the Italian flag, on board of which there were, amongst others, Bulgarian tourists grounded near the island of Corfu, says Petel.bg, which was contacted by a relative of a crew member. The ferry sailed along the route Patras-Igoumenitsa-Ancona. There were 692 passengers on the ship and a crew of 80. After the accident all were rescued and taken to Corfu.

The wreck happened just before 2:00 in the morning as a result of a collision with underwater rocks near the island of Peristeri northeast of Corfu.

According to Greek media, the ferry suffered two major damages and a lot of smaller ones on the right side, as shown by early reports of divers. So far, the causes of the crash are unknown.

The ferry is moored at the port of Corfu and all passengers are accommodated in local hotels. The crew is expected to turn the ship by the end of the day, which is currently in a lateral position towards the port, in order for more than 300 vehicles carried by the ferry to be removed.

According to the Coast Guard, divers will go back down into the water to conduct a new comprehensive inspection. Water is being pumped from the ship.

Soon the owner company of the ship will ensure the transportation of passengers to their destinations by another ship. The port authorities have forbidden Europalink to sail off before the recovery of the damages and the issue of a safety certificate.

Most passengers were travelling on vacation to Italy, they had booked hotels, prepaid them, and now they have lost everything because they cannot go to Italy by another ship, since their cars are still on the ferry.

One of the passengers told the now24.gr site: "We were sleeping and suddenly we fell out of our beds. It was like an earthquake. We went outside and saw crew members running up and down. Everyone was panic-stricken. They did not know what had happened either. Only the steersman and the captain were aware of the mistake. They had directed the ship straight towards the Peristeri rocks. The bad thing was that there were no lifebelts in the cabins. The first announcement of the captain was made two hours later. From 2 am to 4 am nobody told us anything. They only gave us belts and that was all. The situation is tragic. It’s a pity. Italians destroyed the company. We thank God we did not sink. There would have been hundreds of victims".

According to information from the passengers, the belts were in a warehouse, not in the cabins, photo now24.gr

More details later.

Tags: wreck ferry Corfu
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