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Italian Prime Miniser promises answers after ferry fire

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has commended the emergency workers who came to the rescue of passengers after a ferry caught fire between the coasts of Italy and Greece.

He also promised that the investigation into the accident which killed at least 10 people.

We stand together with our thoughts, prayers, and solidarity for all the families of the victims and everything that went on the Norman Atlantic boat. Our prayers also go to the Turkish sailors who died at the Ravenna coast. For everything that happened there the prosecution will find out the cause ... For all those who intervened there were moments of heroism as 400 lives were saved in rough weather and under circumstances where it was impossible to put down the fire.

– Prime Minister Matteo Renzi


More bodies could be found on Greek fire ferry

Prosecutors in Italy say it is likely that more bodies will be found aboard the stricken Greek ferry which caught fire on Sunday.

Passengers are carried off a cargo ship after being rescued from the stricken ferry. Credit: Reuters

Ten people were killed when a blaze broke out on the car deck of the Norman Atlantic.

Rescuers have been searching the surrounding waters around the wreckage and below deck amid confusion over how many people were aboard.

Bari prosecutor Giuseppe Volpe expressed fears that more victims will be discovered in the cargo areas given the strong evidence that illegal migrants were on board.

"Our fear is that unfortunately once the wreck is recovered, we'll find other dead people on board," he said.

Two Albanian tugboat men die towing fire-stricken ferry

Two Albanian men have been killed after a cable connecting their tugboat to the fire-stricken ferry Norman Atlantic broke.

Ferry Norman Atlantic pictured on the way to Brindisi harbour after it caught fire in waters off Greece . Credit: REUTERS/Marina Militare

"One man died on the spot when one cable broke after it got stuck in the propeller," a port authority official in Vlore told Reuters this morning.

"The other died on board a few minutes ago when being assisted by a helicopter medical team," they added.

Hammond: Six Brits safe after Greek ferry fire

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said six Brits are safe after being rescued from a Greek ferry that caught fire en route to Italy.


Death toll from Greek ferry fire rises to eight

The death toll in the Greek ferry fire has risen to eight and rescuers are checking to see if anyone else might still be missing.

Italy's transport minister Maurizio Lupi said 427 people have been rescued, including 56 crew members.

The original manifest listed 478 passengers and crew.

Passengers are assisted off the ferry by rescue teams. Credit: Reuters

Another official said that among the survivors there were people not listed in the manifest - indicating the possibility that some were travelling illegally.

There is some confusion over whether more are missing. Credit: Reuters

All 432 passengers and crew evacuated from ferry fire

432 people, including passengers and crew, have now been rescued from the Norman Atlantic ferry, Greece's coast guard said. Specialist teams from the Italian coast guard are carrying out investigations inside the vessel.

Smoke billows from the Norman Atlantic ferry in this picture taken yesterday. Credit: Marina Militare/PA

Five helicopters, including four from the Greek armed forces and one from Greece's coast guard, remain in the area. The Foreign Office said:

We understand from the Italian authorities that all passengers have now been evacuated from the Norman Atlantic ferry and are working closely with them to check on the safety and welfare of the British nationals who were on board.

– Foreign Office

Ferry passenger: 'The fire was cooking everyone's feet'

A British man who was on board the stricken Norman Atlantic ferry has said the fire on board was so intense that it was "cooking everybody's feet" as they stood waiting to be rescued.

Nick Channing-Williams also revealed he had sent text messages to people at one point "because I sort of had convinced myself that we were going a little bit the wrong way".

When the flames are licking up around the boat and there is just no sign of help and they are talking about sending a boat that is going to be four hours away you feel somewhat helpless...

The flames were huge, and all the cars were on was actually very scary, to be honest. There was only one place you could stand, which was in the rain.

The fire was basically cooking everybody's feet and everyone was in a queue to get on a lifeboat. With the heat just being so enormous, people just panicked. I didn't even try and get on one. Regina and I were stood upstairs and just hoped for the best, really, that someone would come and help us.

– Nick Channing-Williams
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