Rescuers relaunched search operation for 12 missing people on Saturday early morning with the Italian-flagged ferry is still burning on the ionian sea off Corfu.
During the night, patrol vessels combed the area off the holiday the island in the hope of locating survivors, the Greek coast guard told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
the fire and the heat on the ferry prevented rescuers from boarding on Saturday morning, but a helicopter, a frigate, a fire- ship of combat and six the tugs were operating in the area more more than 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Corfu.
Rescuers brought 280 passengers to Corfu after the fire on the Euroferry Olympia broke out en route from Greece to Italy.
Officials say the cause of the fire remains unknown.
The coast guard said it all of the missing are truck drivers – seven from Bulgaria, three from Greece, one from Turkey and one from Lithuania.
Truckers who were rescued from the ship told Greece public Streamer on Saturday that some drivers preferred to sleep in their vehicles because the ship’s cabins were overcrowded.
According to the Kathimerini newspaper, since June 2017 the Union of Greek professional truck drivers had warned of the conditions on Euroferry Olympia as well as Euroferry Egnazia, both owned by Grimaldi.
In a letter to the Greek Navy Ministry, they reported the air conditioning does not have work in the cabins and there were not enough cabins for the number of passengers.
They had also complains of poor ventilation in The garage.
On 27-year-the old boat latest safety the check was in Igoumenitsa on Feb. 16, the company said.
Black smoke was still billowing air Saturday morning, depending on the state of Ert-run television station, while explosions were heard.
Grimaldi Lines, the owner of the ship, said the fire “East currently under control”, but the Greek coast guard on Saturday morning could not confirm.
According to the company, the ferry was officially carrying 239 passengers and 51 crew, along with 153 trucks and trailers and 32 passengers. vehicles.
But raising concerns about how many unofficial passengers were missing, according to the coast guard, two of the people saved weren’t even on the list. Both were Afghans, the coast guard told AFP.
The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said 127 of its nationals were on the passenger listincluding 37 truck drivers.
Another 24 were from Turkey, the country’s NTV station said, while broadcaster ERT said 21 Greeks were on board.
Among the survivors, nine people were taken to hospital with breathing problems.
“Two Bulgarians were hospitalized; one had very low saturation and was intubated,” Deputy Foreign Minister Velislava Petrova said at a press briefing on Saturday.
‘To jump in the sea’
A specialized Greek rescue team who boarded the burning ship stopped work Friday night because of the intense heat, thick smoke and power breakdown on the ship, the Athens News Agency said.
A of Rescuers who went on the ferry on Friday was taken to hospital with respiratory problemsla fire the brigade told AFP.
“We waited for four hours before the rescue team came. We were trapped in the fire in the night; we only felt fire under our feet”, Fahri Ozgen, one of the rescued passengers, told AFP. “About 250 people were shouting, shouting, some of they jumped into the sea. Some of our friends are still missing, we are not know where they are.”
Some of the passengers lost everything in the fire. “We have lost our money, passports, all our administrative papers, I don’t even have shoes to cover my feet. We can’t make any phone call”said trucker Ali Duran.
There is heavy maritime traffic between the ports of Western Greece of Igoumenitsa and Patras and Brindisi and Ancona in Italy.
the last on board fire in the Adriatic was in December 2014 on the Italian ferry Norman Atlantic. Thirteen people deceased in this blaze.