World / Europe

Rescued ferry passengers arrive in Italy

(Agencies) Updated: 2014-12-29 17:38

Rescued ferry passengers arrive in Italy

Passengers stand on the deck as car ferry Norman Atlantic burns in the waters off Greece December 28, 2014 in this handout photo provided by Marina Militare.[Photo/Agencies]

A medical team and a flight operator had boarded the stricken vessel to assist the passengers and crew as the rescue proceeds, the navy said.

After initial rescue efforts were impeded by bad weather that stopped other ships getting close, Italian and Greek helicopter crews began the airborne operation on Sunday afternoon.

The rescue is being coordinated from the Italian navy's amphibious transport ship the San Giorgio.

Eighty five people had been transferred to the San Giorgio by 0750 GMT and one person suffering from heart disease was taken to the Italian mainland by helicopter, the navy said.

One man died on Sunday and four people were reported to be injured. Several passengers have been flown to Galatina in southern Italy.

The Italian-flagged ferry, chartered by Greek ferry operator Anek Lines, was sailing between Patros in western Greece to Ancona in Italy carrying 478 passengers and crew and more than 200 vehicles when it caught fire.

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