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One Person Reported Dead In Ferry Fire Off Greece

The ferry was carrying 500 people, and most are trapped as rescue workers battle rough waters. One person died and another is injured, and 150 have been rescued so far, the AP reported.

Reuters Tv / Reuters

The car ferry Norman Atlantic burns in waters off Greece on Sunday.

Here’s video of a rescue from a Greek media outlet:

A car ferry caught fire off the coast of Greece on Sunday, killing one person and injuring another, Italian officials told the Associated Press.

The victim was a male passenger, the Italian ministry told CNN. Greek media outlet Skai has identified identified the victim as Georgios Doulis, who is from Greece. CNN reported that the victim died jumping from the ship.

The fire broke out on the deck of the Italian-flagged Norman Atlantic ship, which was returning to Ancona, Italy from the Greek port of Patras. Two hundred and thirty-four of the passengers and 34 crew members were Greek, Greek Merchant Marine spokesman Nikos Lagadianos told the AP. The rest are from various nationalities not yet specified.

A joint Italian-Greek rescue operation began on Sunday, and about 150 people have been airlifted off the boat so far, CNN reported, though tough waters and making rescue efforts difficult. About 422 passengers and 56 crew members were on board, and many of them remain trapped.

The rescue efforts will continue throughout the night, mostly using helicopters because ships can’t reach the ferry due to bad weather, according to Greek media.

“Superhuman efforts are being made in a difficult operation conducted under adverse weather conditions,” Niko Lagadianos, a spokesperson for the Hellenic Coast Guard, said during a news conference.

Fotis Tsadakidis, who was on the cruise ship, told MEGA TV, that “we saw smoke, heard explosions but an alarm did not go off and there was no coordination.”

Another passenger, Georgios Sarandis told MEGA TV most passengers were sleeping when the fire began. “It was the smell of burnt plastic that tossed us out of bed,” he said.

ITV News said it spoke with a British passenger, Nick Channing-Williams, while he was still on the ship. “I’m staying positive. And hopefully I when I get off, I can find somewhere to charge my phone and let my family know I’m OK,” Channing-Williams said.

Once on the top deck there was some panic, especially when lifeboats were deployed and lots of people tried to get into them. Some passengers made it into lifeboats but in the bad weather, not everyone could get in. He saw at least one lifeboat dropped without anyone in it, and also saw people try to jump into the sea. He later heard reports someone had died – reports confirmed by authorities this evening.

[He said]the ship was ‘listing’ on to its side, which was “very disconcerting,” and felt very unstable. He was told it could take another five hours to get back to safety, but fears the ship, most of which has been burned away, may not last that long.

Paolo Gangemi / Reuters

The vessel Norman Atlantic in September.

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