One of the passengers reported missing from the Italian ferry fire near Greece on Friday has been found alive, authorities say. Updated figures say eleven are still missing.
The rescued passenger, a Belarusian truck driver, 21, used a ladder to climb down from the ferry on to a tugboat. His first words were: “Tell me I’m alive.” He also told Greek media he had heard other voices on the ship.
The Italian Euroferry Olympia caught fire en route to the Italian port of Brindisi. 270 were rescued and taken to the island of Corfu. However, eleven people remain missing.
Cause of blaze being investigated
Investigation of the cause of the Italian ferry fire is still underway. Authorities also detained the captain and two engineers briefly to testify.
Fires continue to burn inside the ship today (Sunday). It is now in a secure area north of Corfu after being towed there, Greek news site Kathimerini reports.
The Euroferry Olympia had left Igoumenitsa in Greece for Brindisi when the fire broke out on a car deck. Officially there were 239 passengers and 51 crew. However, one of the rescued as an Afghan national who was not registered as a passenger.
Missing thought to be lorry drivers
The missing people are all thought to be lorry drivers from Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. It is believed the drivers decided to sleep in their cabs due to the overcrowded cabins on the ship.
There is criticism of the conditions on board the Euroferry Olympia from drivers and relatives of those missing.
Grimaldi, who operate the ferry, said the 27-year-old vessel completed a safety check on Wednesday.