NewsMajor fire on a ferry in the Mediterranean: firefighting...

Major fire on a ferry in the Mediterranean: firefighting continues – several injured and missing

A fire breaks out on a ferry off Corfu. The Coast Guard is on duty. Two people are still stuck on the ferry, several people are missing.

Athens – Several people were injured in a major fire on a ferry off the Greek holiday island of Corfu on Friday (February 18, 2022). Of the almost 300 people on board, two passengers and one crew member were injured, rescue workers said. According to the Greek coast guard, two people were still stuck on the “Euroferry Olympia”, which was on fire, and a helicopter was sent to their rescue. Eleven people are missing, according to the Coast Guard.

According to the information, 278 people were rescued from the ferry. The fact that there was also a migrant among those rescued who had not officially checked in on the ferry raised concerns that in reality even more people might not have been rescued. It happens again and again that stowaways travel on ferries from Greece to Italy.

Dicker, schwarzer Rauch steigt über einer brennenden Autofähre vor Korfu auf. Auf dem Schiff befanden etwa 300 Menschen.


Thick, black smoke rises above a burning car ferry off Corfu. There were almost 300 people on the ship.

Fire on a car ferry off Corfu in the Mediterranean: extinguishing work is still ongoing

According to the Coast Guard, the Italian-flagged ferry with 237 passengers and 51 crew members on board was traveling on the Igoumenitsa-Brindisi route when the fire suddenly broke out at around 4:30 a.m. (local time). Images broadcast on television showed that the ship built by the Italian shipping company Grimaldi in 1995 was completely on fire.

“We heard the fire started in the hold, but it wasn’t safe,” a man who said he was on board told Skai TV. “It took 15 minutes for the fire to reach the deck.” The mostly Italian crew reacted “simply perfectly” to the danger, the man reported. Other passengers spoke of “panic on board”.

Big fire off Corfu: Two passengers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries

A Coast Guard spokeswoman said it could take several hours to extinguish the fire. The rescue operation is still ongoing. Two drivers who were in the hold reserved for vehicles had called for help by phone and were now to be picked up by a helicopter.

The director of the Corfu hospital, Leonidas Roumbatis, said on ERT that two passengers with minor injuries were taken to his clinic as a precaution. A Greek Coast Guard patrol boat had previously brought the injured crew member ashore. TV images showed that the 42-year-old man, who was having breathing problems, was struggling to walk and had to be supported by firefighters. He was also taken to the hospital in Corfu.

Fire on a ferry in the Mediterranean: cause of the fire still unclear

According to the Coast Guard, the ferry captain had asked the passengers to leave the ship immediately after the fire broke out. At the same time, Italian and Greek patrol boats and coast guard tugs, as well as firefighters from Corfu, were dispatched to the scene of the accident. A frigate and two helicopters from the Greek Navy were also involved in the rescue operation. Fishermen also rushed to help people on the ferry. “We can hear explosions, they must be cargo trucks,” Nikos Bardis, one of the fishermen, said on ERT.

The cause of fire was unclear for the moment. The fire may have started from a truck parked on the ferry, the Italian news agency Ansa reported, citing the crew. There is a lively ferry traffic between the west coast of Greece and the Italian Adriatic. In December 2014, a fire broke out on a ferry running between Patras and Ancona off the Adriatic coast. 13 people died in the accident, including nine passengers. (AFP)

Rubriklistenbild: © Lazos Madikos / dpa

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