“Norman Atlantic” – 13 confirmed dead
20:15: Greek authorities announce there are 236 confirmed rescued Greeks. The ship’s manifest contained 268 Greeks (234 passengers + 34 crew) but confusion as to who actually was on board, including any indeclared passengers, still reigns.
18:39: Italian authorities confirm a 12th body was found at sea.
17:53: Italian authorities confirm an 11th dead person
17:00: Bulgaria’s foreign ministry confirms that two of its citizens, Violeta Papareva abd Dimitar Dechev, who were on the list of Norman Atlantic’s passengers, actually never left and are in Greece.
Italian authorities say seven Bulgarian citizens were rescued: one is in hospital with a broken arm and will be operated on, another has been discharged from hospital and five more are expected to arrive in Brindisi later Tuesday.
16:23: Greek defence ministry releases video of passengers returned to Elefsina air base on Monday night.
12:46:“There was no alarm – this was the absolute tragedy,” Dimitra Theodossiou, a Greek soprano, rescued from Norman Atlantic told Italy’s La Repubblica. “They didn’t knock. They didn’t advise us. We woke from smoke that entered in the room.”
12:32: The Italian government said it does not know how many passengers are missing after a deadly ferry blaze in the Adriatic in which at least ten people died, the Independent reported.
“We cannot say how many people may be missing,” the country’s Transport minister Maurizio Lupi told reporters.
12:23: Two Albanian seamen were killed during the towing of the burned wreck of Norman Atlantic on Tuesday morning. Both men died after a connecting cable between the vessels snapped and became entangled in a propeller, Albanian officials say.
Ten people were killed and more than 400 rescued, after a fire broke out on the ferry in stormy seas on Sunday.
11:48: As the first passengers reached safety in Italy and Greece late on Monday, harrowing accounts of the disaster started emerging.
“Everyone there was trampling on each other to get onto the helicopter,” Greek truck driver Christos Perlis told The Associated Press by telephone from one of the rescue vessels.
“The jungle law prevailed,” said Greek passenger Irene Varsioti. “There was no queue or order. No respect was shown for children.”
11:19: Italian authorities gave the name of a second Greek national as among the 10 dead of Norman Atlantic.
11:13: Italy’s RAI reported on Tuesday that the passengers’ list is innacurate, or even fake. The report didn’t specify if it meant the one offered by the Greek leasing company ANEK.
10:00: A Hellenic Air Force C-130 airplane carrying 43 survivors from Lecce and Bari in Italy landed at the Elefsina airbase. Passengers include 40 Greek nationals and three people of undisclosed nationalities.
In statements to the press they expressed their frustration with what they called the non-cooperation of Italian crew members with Greeks and their overall attitude after the fire burst out onboard.
06:00: The ship’s commander, Argilio Giacomazzi, was the last to leave the vessel, Italian officials said. “Like all serious commanders, he is the last to leave the ship,” Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said of Giacomazzi.
Offering his condolences to the families of the victims, Renzi praised Italian rescue workers for their “passion and tenaciousness,” which he said “avoided a massacre.” Their work “makes us proud to be Italian,” he said during an end-of-year news conference.
Enikos, ANA-MPA, Reuters
Some survivors were taken to Bari, and others were headed to Brindisi, another Italian port, while other rescue ships were directed to Greece, Croatia and Malta, an Italian official said. Other passengers – some suffering from hypothermia or smoke inhalation – were taken directly to hospitals on the Italian mainland by helicopter.
While the cause of the blaze remained unclear, prosecutors in Bari and Brindisi said they would open an investigation. The Italian news media reported that the ship had not passed an inspection in Greece this month. Yet an Italian admiral said Monday that the repairs had been made after the inspection and that the ship was seaworthy when it set sail on Sunday.