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Heat and smoke restricts search of burnt out ferry

There are conflicting figures about the number of people still missing after the fire. Credit: CCTV

Fierce heat from a slow-burning blaze kept firefighters and other investigators from searching the hold and vehicle decks of a Greek ferry for more bodies for a second day.

At least 11 people perished in the pre-dawn blaze on 28th December aboard the Norman Atlantic, on a voyage between Greece and Italy.

Authorities fear more bodies might be inside the vehicle deck where the fire began.

The ferry was towed into the Italian port of Brindisi on Friday morning and port captain Mario Valente said temperatures were "very high" inside the deck, with smoke still pouring from the wreck.

Bari prosecutor Ettore Cardinali later said no bodies were found during a search of some of the passenger cabins and some deck areas.

Remains of burned-out ferry docks, black box recovered

The charred remains of a ferry which caught fire in the Adriatic Sea, killing at least 11 people, have been brought in to harbour in Italy.

The ferry was still smouldering as an Italian tugboat towed it into Brindisi port. Credit: CCTV

The blaze took hold of the Norman Atlantic ship just off the Greek island of Corfu on Sunday, and was still smouldering as an Italian tugboat towed it into Brindisi port.

Prosecutors have now recovered the ship's black box and will examine its contents.

Eleven people have been confirmed dead Credit: CCTV

The ferry's captain, Argilio Giacomazzi, and its Italian owner Carlo Visentini, have already been charged with shipwreck, multiple manslaughter and negligent injury.

Four more people, including two crew members and two representatives of operator Greek ANEK Lines, are also under investigation.

An unknown number of people are still missing Credit: CCTV

Eleven people have been confirmed dead to date, while 477 people have been rescued.

An unknown number of others remain missing.


Abandoned migrant ship reaches southern Italy

A cargo ship with 450 migrants on board, including children and pregnant women, has reached Italy after it was apparently abandoned at sea by its crew.

The Sierra-Leone-flagged cargo ship 'Ezadeen' apparently set sail from Turkey.

The Sierra Leone-flagged vessel 'Ezadeen' was towed to southern Italy. Credit: Reuters/Antonino Condorelli
The ship reportedly had 450 people on board who are mainly Syrian. Credit: Reuters/Antonino Condorelli
The migrants reportedly called the authorities for help when the crew abandoned the ship. Credit: Reuters/Antonino Condorelli
The 450 people on board the ship included children and pregnant women. Credit: Reuters/Antonino Condorelli

Abandoned migrant ship being towed to Italy

An Icelandic Coast Guard ship is towing a cargo vessel to Italy with about 450 migrants, authorities confirmed.

The ship was abandoned by its crew, leaving the migrants unable to operate it.

Children and pregnant women were among those aboard, most of who were believed to be Syrian, said a Coast Guard commander.

The Sierra-Leone-flagged cargo ship Ezadeen apparently set sail from Turkey.

The exact port of the Ezadeen's arrival will depend on sea conditions.

Italian Air Force footage showed a Coast Guard official being lowered onto the ship.

The Ezadeen is the second cargo ship full of migrants to be abandoned while still sailing this week.

'450 migrants stranded on adrift ship off Italian coast'

Efforts are ongoing to rescue as many as 450 migrants stranded in rough seas on a cargo ship off the south coast of Italy, the Associated Press reports.

The Sierra-Leone flagged vessel, called the Ezadeen, is believed to have been abandoned by its crew.

The Italian Air Force told the agency a helicopter has been sent to the scene so coastguard officials can be lowered onto the ship.

Coast Guard Cmdr Filippo Marini said a migrant had called for help saying: "'We're without crew, we're heading toward the Italian coast and we have no one to steer.'"


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
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