ATHENS — Rescuers exploring the charred hull of a passenger ferry that caught hearth off the Greek island of Corfu this month have recovered eight our bodies and have been looking on Saturday for an additional three, Greek authorities have mentioned.
A complete of 281 folks have been rescued from the Italian-owned Euroferry Olympia after the hearth broke out within the early hours of Feb. 18, just a few hours after the vessel left the northwestern Greek port of Igoumenitsa, certain for Brindisi, Italy.
Most of these aboard the ferry have been rescued by the Greek Coast Guard, aided by the Italian authorities, within the first few hours after the hearth broke out. One other two passengers have been rescued by helicopter later within the day, and a 3rd managed to achieve the deck after being trapped within the vessel’s bottom-level storage for greater than 50 hours.
“The search is constant,” a spokesman for the Greek Coast Guard, Nikolaos Alexiou, mentioned Saturday morning. The ship’s ramp remained caught shut, he famous, which had restricted rescuers’ entry to the garages. “We’re going to renew efforts to open it at present,” he mentioned.
The stricken ferry was towed on Wednesday to the big port of Astakos, in western Greece, the place search efforts intensified, based on a spokesman for Greece’s hearth service, Vassilis Vathrakoyiannis. He mentioned it was tough to say precisely when the hearth was extinguished, and that prime temperatures, exceeding 1,100 levels Fahrenheit, or 600 levels Celsius, had remained an impediment throughout a lot of the work. “These scorching spots can reignite the hearth at any second,” he mentioned.
Movies posted by Greek information web sites this previous week confirmed the devastation brought on by the blaze, with Greek hearth service rescuers walking through the charred remains of trucks amid plumes of thick black smoke.
Final Sunday, members of the Greek hearth service’s particular catastrophe unit found the body of a Greek man within the cabin of a truck in one of many ferry’s three garages. One other physique was discovered on Wednesday and 6 extra on Thursday and Friday. At the very least three extra persons are believed to be lacking.
In accordance with the shipowner, Grimaldi Strains, the vessel had 153 vehicles and 32 vehicles aboard.
A Greek Delivery Ministry official mentioned all eight our bodies have been discovered within the garages, and that up to now two had been recognized, each Greek truck drivers. 9 extra names on the passenger checklist have but to be matched with both a survivor or a physique. All are truck drivers: one Greek, seven Bulgarian and one Turkish.
Nevertheless, as two of the 281 folks rescued have been Afghan residents who weren’t on the checklist, officers haven’t dominated out that extra undocumented passengers might need been on board.
The extent of devastation, Mr. Vathrakoyiannis of the hearth service mentioned, was such that “some our bodies may by no means be discovered.”
The reason for the hearth has but to be decided, although Greek authorities have indicated that it began in one of many vessel’s three garages, as lots of the surviving passengers have testified.
It isn’t unusual for truck drivers to sleep of their autos throughout in a single day ferry crossings as a substitute of in ship cabins. The tragedy has reinvigorated debate in regards to the want for stricter inspections to curb this apply.