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Two truck drivers are reportedly stuck inside a ferry that caught fire near Corfu, Greece.
Early this morning, Friday, 18 February, the Euroferry Olympia burst into flames, prompting Italian and Greek boats to rush to evacuate the 290 people on board.
The Greek Coast Guard have said 11 people are missing, and rescuers are trying to help two truck drivers trapped on board who are awaiting helicopter rescue.
🇬🇷 Update: Eleven passengers are missing and two are still trapped on board after a blaze on a ferry near the Greek island of Corfu.— euronews (@euronews) February 18, 2022
The fire on the Euroferry Olympia, owned by the Italian company Grimaldi, broke out at 4:12 local time on Friday.
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There is no update at the time of writing about the status of the truck drivers.
The news comes almost eight hours after the fire started on the ferry, which was headed for the Italian port of Brindisi.
Among those on board were 239 passengers and 52 crew members, as well as 153 trucks and 32 cars.
Giorgos Parlantzas, a rescued passenger and truck driver, recounted what happened on board, as per Sky News.
He said, 'I was sleeping in my cabin when they came to alert us. I grabbed my ID and headed for the deck where people were being assembled. It must have been about 3am or 4am. And we were put on to boats.'
Those who were rescued were wrapped in foil blankets and taken to nearby Corfu for an assembly area for first aid checks.
🇬🇷🇮🇹 A fire broke out Friday on a cruise ship sailing through the Mediterranean’s Ionian Sea with 239 passengers and 51 crew onboard.— euronews (@euronews) February 18, 2022
The Euroferry Olympia, owned by Italian company Grimaldi, caught fire at around 4:30 local time, according to the Greek coastguard. pic.twitter.com/IgT0jKeGcF
One crew member has reportedly been admitted to hospital, after having difficulty breathing.
Speaking of the incident, Costas Katsafados, the Greek deputy minister for shipping, said, 'This is a difficult operation and we must remain cautious. The final accounting of the people on board will take place on Corfu when everyone rescued is assembled there.'
Footage released by the Coast Guard shows smoke rising from the ferry hours after the fire had started.
The fire was thought to have began in one of the car decks in the hold of the boat.
While crew attempted to put the fire out, the captain eventually gave the order to abandon ship at 4.20am.
One passenger said, 'Within an hour we had left the ship, we were saved by the crew,' as per the BBC.
Head of the Corfu rescue team, George Glykofrydis, said that his team were unable to get onto the ship while it was burning uncontrollably.
Most of the passengers on board were Italian nationals, and the 183m-long ferry is operated by the Grimaldi Group, which is based in Naples, Italy.
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