Norman Atlantic: fears grow that death toll will rise in ship disaster

Fears grow that death toll will rise in ship disaster

Tens of passengers remain unaccounted for following the completion of operations to airlift passengers and crew off of the stricken vessel.

Pavlos Zafiropoulos
ΓΡΑΦΕΙ: PAVLOS ZAFIROPOULOS

The death toll from the fire at sea onboard the Norman Atlantic has risen to seven after an additional two bodies were discovered in the ship’s interior.

However there are fears that the death toll may continue rise significantly after the completion of the operation to airlift passengers and crew off the deck of the stricken ship.

According to the Italian and Greek authorities a total of 432 passengers and crew have been rescued during the operation. Heavy seas made airlifting the passengers via helicopter onto nearby vessels the only viable way of evacuating people from the ship.

However according to the ship’s logs 478 passengers and crew were aboard the ship. The actual number may even be higher as there are reports of undocumented immigrants aboard the vessel.

That leaves over 40 people unaccounted for, although some of the people written on the lists may not have been on board. According to a press briefing by Greek authorities, an operation to search the interior of the ship by specialist teams is currently underway.

Norman Atlantic: fears grow that death toll will rise in ship disaster

The Norman Atlantic which was travelling from the Greek port of Igoumenitsa to Ancona became engulfed in flames after a fire broke out in the garage in the early hours of Sunday morning and spread throughout the interior of the vessel.

Of the seven confirmed dead, three people lost their lives in the interior of the ship while another four bodies were located in the sea.

According to the Italian Coast Guard, all of the people on deck have been evacuated from the ship. Only the captain and four of the ship’s officers have remained aboard to assist the ongoing operations.

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