Euroferry Olympia: Temperatures of 550 degrees Celsius inside, 12 people still missing!

Euroferry Olympia

With twelve people still missing, firefighting forces continued their battle against pockets of fire and extremely high temperatures on the burning ferry 'Euroferry Olympia', it was reported on Saturday.

The Greek Fire Brigade's special disaster unit (EMAK) will not be able to search for the 12 people still missing, among them 3 Greek nationals, unless smoke and high temperatures subside, as these can reach up to 550C in some parts of the ferry, the report added.

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The ferry is already moored by a tug boat, and is no longer in danger of being dragged and stranded in the shallows, or collide with another ship.

Firefighters were trying to put out the fire operating from onboard the tug boats, and from the fire brigade's firefighting vessel.

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The Greek Navy's 'Hydra' frigate, a firefighting vessel, one lifeboat, an anti-marine pollution vessel of the Hellenic Coast Guard, six tugs boats, and two more helper ships were all close to the ferry.

Meanwhile three helicopters (Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard) were flying alternately to assist the operation.

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A 14-people-strong team of specialized MEGATUGS and SMIT Salvage lifeguards were also assisting in the search and rescue mission.

As soon as the fire is put out and the missing persons are located, rescue crews will pump out the remaining oil from the ship in order to neutralise the risk of marine pollution.

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When feasible, the ferry will be towed to a safe port in accordance with the instructions of the ship-owning company and after consultation with the relevant authorities.

At the same time, a team of the Hellenic Bureau for Marine Casualties Investigation (HBMCI) is already at the island of Corfu to investigate the causes of the fire.

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The investigation is in collaboration with the relevant Italian authority 'Direzione Generale Investigation Ferroviarie e Marittime (DIGIFEMA).

The families of the three missing Greek nationals are also at Corfu, accompanied by a Hellenic Coast Guard officer/psychologist, by order of Shipping & Island Policy Minister Giannis Plakiotakis.

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A total of 280 passengers and crew have been evacuated, including two foreign nationals who were not on the passenger list, while another 12 cannot be accounted for.

The fire broke out on Friday on one of the third car deck as it as it was sailing off Erikoussa, near Corfu, while carrying out the journey from Igoumenitsa to the port of Brindisi in Italy.

READ MORE: EUROFERRY OLYMPIA: The captain and two engineers brought before prosecutors.