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Greece ferry fire: Missing passenger found alive after blaze off coast of Corfu

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A passenger thought to be missing after a fire swept through a ferry sailing from Greece to Italy has been found alive on the vessel’s stern.

He was discovered on Sunday as the Euroferry Olympia was being towed to shore, the coastguard said.

Footage on Greek television showed the man climbing down a stepladder from the fire-ravaged vessel onto a tugboat tied to it.

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Huge fire breaks out on Greek ferry

Eleven passengers are still missing, the ferry operator and Greek authorities have said. They are from Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Lithuania.

The blaze broke out on Friday as the ship made its way between the Greek port of Igoumenitsa and the Italian port of Brindisi.

Firefighting ships surrounded it and worked through the night as thick black smoke rose into the sky.

All but 12 of the 292 passengers and crew were rescued initially and taken to Corfu.

“I escaped hell,” said lorry driver Dimitris Karaolanidis, after making it to a lifeboat.

“We heard the alarm, we thought it was some kind of drill. But we saw through the portholes that people were running.”

Firefighting vessels extinguish a fire on Italy-flagged Euroferry Olympia as it burns for a second day at the Ionian Sea, off the port of Corfu island, northwestern Greece, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. Rescue teams in Greece searched Saturday for 12 people believed to be missing from a ferry that caught fire in the Ionian Sea while en route to Italy and continued burning for a second day. (Voula Pappa/InTime News via AP)
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Firefighters work to extinguish the flames

The fire started in a hold where vehicles were parked, the ferry’s operating company said.

A Greek prosecutor on Corfu has ordered an investigation into the cause of the blaze.

The ship’s captain and two engineers were arrested on Friday and released the same day, authorities said.

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