Olympia was carrying an estimated 800 cubic metres of fuel and 23 tons of “corrosive dangerous goods”, according to Italy’s environment ministry
A passenger was on Sunday found alive aboard a ferry that has been ablaze off Greece for three days, reviving hopes that several more missing people may have survived.
Eleven truck drivers — seven Bulgarians, three Greeks and one Turk — remained unaccounted for on Sunday before Skai television reported that an operation was underway “to rescue 4-5 more passengers who are alive”.
The ferry was 1.5 miles (about two kilometres) off the northern part of Corfu, the coastguard said.
“I’m fine”, he told journalists before being transported to hospital where he is expected to stay at least until tomorrow.
“I was in my cabin. I went to the lower deck. I heard voices. I did not see others,” the survivor told rescuers and doctors in the hospital where he was treated.
“The ship may still have safe parts for the passengers,” Andreas Korikis, who helped with the rescue on Friday told Athens News Agency (ANA).
According to the fire brigade, at least 40 firemen were deployed in the area on Sunday morning to help with rescue efforts.
– ‘Miserable’ conditions –
Rescuers had managed to save 280 passengers on Friday, evacuating them to Corfu, but 12 lorry drivers remained missing.
The vessel was officially carrying 239 passengers and 51 crew, as well as 153 trucks and trailers and 32 passenger vehicles, the Grimaldi company has said.
The missing truckers reportedly slept in their vehicles because cabins on the vessel were overcrowded.
“It had bed bugs, it was dirty, it had no security systems,” he said as he waited at the port for news.
“My father, from what I was told, slept in the truck.”
It added that its electronic booking system prevents overbooking and that no passenger is allowed on the vehicle decks.
– Agony –
Ert showed emotional scenes of a woman being carried away after fainting while others are pleading with the rescuers to hurry.
“There is optimism. Given the fact this man managed to get to the upper deck in these conditions,” coastguard spokesman Nikos Alexiou told Ert television.