Firefighters battling to cool down Euroferry Olympia
CORFU. Firefighters have been making superhuman efforts through the night to extinguish the fire on the Euroferry Olympia.
The ship, located between Erikoussa and Albania, has been burning since early on Friday morning.
Firefighting vessels from Corfu and Epirus, a tug from Igoumenitsa and the Special Disaster Response Unit (EMAK) have been taking part in the operation.
The Italian shipowners have also sent a special search and rescue unit from the Netherlands.
Along with pouring water into the interior of the ship through cracks, firefighters are now concentrating on cooling down the whole of the vessel as temperatures have reached over 500 degrees Celsius, causing the metal to melt.
Ionian Islands Fire Chief Dimitris Georganas told Enimerosi that if the temperatures get any higher, there is a danger that the jointing will melt and the ship will start to list.
The next step will be to tow the vessel to a port to allow better access to completely extinguish the fire. However, a decision has not been taken yet regarding when and to which port.
Efforts are continuing to find the 12 people who are unaccounted for, but with no success up to now.
On Friday night, EMAK completed the difficult and dangerous operation to free the two drivers who had been trapped in the ship's garage. The two were taken by Super Puma helicopter to Corfu AIrport and from there to the hospital, where one of them has been intubated as he inhaled a large amount of smoke.
According to information received by Enimerosi, his situation is under control and he is in no danger.