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Greek ferry fire: Survivor, body found on burning Euroferry Olympia off Greek island of Corfu

ATHENS, Greece – Greek emergency workers rescued a Belarussian truck driver on Sunday from a burning ferry off the island of Corfu and found the body of a Greek truck driver. as they were searching the wreckage for the missing passengers. The remaining 10 discoveries have yet to be counted.

The 21-year-old survivor was able to make his way onto the left aft deck on his own and told lifeguards he heard other voices below.

“The fact that this man succeeded, despite adverse conditions, to get off deck and alert the coast guard…gives us hope that there may be others (survivors) ),” Coast Guard spokesman Nikos Alexiou told state broadcaster ERT.

The victim was identified by his family as a 58-year-old Greek truck driver.

The Italian-owned Euroferry Olympia, carrying more than 290 passengers and crew as well as 153 trucks and 32 cars, caught fire on Friday, three hours after it left the northwestern Greek port of Igoumenitsa for Brindisi in Italy. The ferry operator said the fire started in a halt where vehicles were parked.

The Greek coast guard and other boats evacuated about 280 people from the ferry to the nearby island of Corfu.

The ferry was towed to the port of Kassiopi, northeast of Corfu. Firefighters were still battling flames in spots on Sunday and a thick smoke still enveloped the ship.

Alexiou said his understanding was that the lorry driver had not heard any voices shortly before boarding but added that “the situation is evolving.” The survivor was taken to the hospital for a check-up.

The extreme heat in some parts of the ship prevented the Greek fire agency’s Disaster Management Unit and a private rescue team from searching the entire ship. The ferry is rotting as tons of water poured in to put out the fire, but authorities say it is not in danger of capsizing.
Two passengers were rescued on Saturday. A person not on the ship’s manifest and presumably a migrant. The other, a 65-year-old Bulgarian truck driver, has breathing problems and is on a ventilator in the intensive care unit of Corfu hospital.

A Greek prosecutor for Corfu has ordered an investigation into the cause of the fire. The ship’s captain and two engineers were arrested Friday but were released the same day, authorities said.

Passengers described the initial evacuation as very dramatic.

“We heard the alarm. We thought it was some kind of drill. But we saw people running through the windows,” truck driver Dimitris Karaolanidis told The Associated Press. . “You couldn’t think of anything at that time (other than) your family… When I touched the deck I saw smoke and kids. Luckily they (crew) acted quickly. .”

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Petros Giannakouris and Lefteris Pitarakis contributed to this report from Corfu.

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https://abc13.com/greek-ferry-fire-corfu-survivor-found-on-burning-greece/11583721/ Greek ferry fire: Survivor, body found on burning Euroferry Olympia off Greek island of Corfu

Dais Johnston

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