Sunday, December 28, 2014

Greece afraid of blast on board burning ferry Norman Atlantic / Italian Ferry Which Caught Fire off Greek Coast Drifts to Albania

Greek authorities are afraid of a possible explosion on board ferry Norman Atlantic burning in the Adriatic Sea, Russian Honorary Consul on Corfu and other Ionian Islands Nikos Kanoulas told TASS on Sunday.
“The fire is very serious, the blaze is spreading from lower decks where cars are parked,” Kanoulas said, noting that “there are many trucks, including three with technical oil, parked there along with cars.

“There are large amounts of fuels and lubricants there in general. Greek rescuers are afraid of a likely blast.” “As officers of a local naval base in Kerkyra said to me, the fire is very strong, as the metal is melting,” the consul added.
According to preliminary reports, there are no Russians on board the ferry, Kanoulas said. “It is clear that ferry passengers are mainly Greeks, Italians and Frenchmen,” the consul added, noting that “All information is coming to the port service and a local naval base in Kerkyra which are keeping in touch with the ferry and help coordinating efforts taken by rescuers.
“The port chief and the naval base commander said to me that there were no Russians on preliminary lists. Ukrainians were also not named to me.”
Control over the rescue operation was passed to Italy, because the ferry losing a steering control had already drifted into Italian territorial waters.
  • Italian Norman Atlantic car ferry, which caught fire off the Greek coast Sunday morning, is currently drifting toward the Albanian coast, Greek Skai TV channel reported.
  • According to the TV channel, the fire is under control, although it has not been completely put out yet. Meanwhile, the ferry is drifting toward Albania.

The Greek defense minister has informed the country's prime minister that the military have sent a large force into the area of the accident, the Hellenic Ministry Of National Defence told RIA Novosti.
According to the ministry, 11 helicopters and a military aircraft were deployed to the area to assist in the rescue operation. The Super Puma helicopters of the Hellenic Air Force have started the evacuation of about 320 people who remain on board of the burning ferry. Another 150 passengers were evacuated in lifeboats.
The ferry caught fire at about 6 a.m. local time (4:00 GMT) on Sunday, when the vessel was 33 nautical miles away from the Greek island Othonoi. According to preliminary data, the fire broke out in the cargo section causing the ferry to lose control.


1 comment :

  1. Air crews began lifting passengers off a burning ferry adrift in the Adriatic Sea on Sunday, racing to rescue as many of the hundreds trapped on board as possible before nightfall as storms hampered seaborne operations....

    Helicopters were taking passengers off the Italian-flagged Norman Atlantic in pairs and transferring them to a nearby vessel, officials said.

    There were no confirmed reports of casualties and differing accounts of how many people had been rescued from the ferry, which was carrying almost 500 passengers and crew when it sent a distress signal early on Sunday after fire broke out on its lower deck.

    Greek authorities said 131 people were clear of the danger zone while an official said 150 had managed to get off the ship aboard a rescue boat.

    Each air transfer was taking around 15 minutes per helicopter, according to a Greek defence ministry official. Another official said two Italian and two Greek helicopters were involved in the rescue.

    Coastguard spokesman Nikos Lagkadianos said the heavy rain that was hampering the rescue had helped contain the fire although the ship was still burning. Two tugboats were present, one of which had managed to approach the ship to try to extinguish the blaze................................


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