12 missing after fire hits underway ferry off Corfu, Greece
Greek authorities have confirmed that 12 people have gone missing after a Ro-Pax ferry caught fire while underway near Corfu island on Friday, February 18.
The Hellenic Coast Guard, the Hellenic Navy, and other partner agencies immediately deployed to render assistance to the passengers and crew of the Italian-flagged Euroferry Olympia shortly after a blaze ignited on board while it was sailing off Ereikousa in the Diapontia Islands.
Search and rescue (SAR) teams were able to evacuate 278 passengers and crew to nearby Corfu. However, 12 individuals remain unaccounted for.
The SAR teams are also continuing to monitor the surrounding waters for any signs of pollution as preparations are ongoing to have the ferry towed to an anchorage near Corfu for assessments and repairs to be conducted.
Coast guard officials said the fire on Euroferry Olympia was still raging as of 19:20 local time on Saturday, February 19.
The coast guard also stated that the vessel’s captain and two other officers were arrested by Corfu port authorities and then brought before local prosecutors. The three crewmembers were questioned and were subsequently released from the prosecutors’ custody.