ATHENS, Greece (AP) — An Italian Coast Guard official says one person died while attempting to escape from a blazing ferry stranded in the Adriatic Sea, and another was injured.
Giovanni Pettorino told Italy’s Sky TG24 TV that the victim, along with the injured person, was being transported by Italian rescuers to Italy Sunday evening.
Hundreds remained trapped on smoke-filled top decks as gale-force winds and choppy seas hampered evacuation.
Greek and Italian rescue helicopters and vessels struggled to reach the crippled ferry originally, battered by 90 kilometer per hour (55 mph) winds that pushed it toward the Albanian coast. Nearby merchant ships lined up to form a barrier to protect the ferry from towering waves and facilitate rescue.