By @ShaunyGibson – Used to be @ ShaunyNews Via Links below
A number of Britons have been rescued from a burning ferry near Corfu – but many other passengers remain trapped. The Italian Navy said 190 people had been plucked from the stricken Norman Atlantic by Sunday evening, more than 14 hours after the fire erupted. One person has died and 287 remain on board the ferry, which is now adrift in rough seas between Italy and Albania. Passengers still trapped on the ferry described how thick smoke engulfed the ferry, and said the ship had begun to list to one side. “There’s a lot of smoke, we can’t breathe,” passenger Nikos Papatheodosiou told Greece’s state-run Nerit television as darkness fell. “Panic, there’s panic,” he said. Passengers described scenes of terror and chaos when the fire broke out as they slept in their cabins.
Early official reports, based on passenger manifests, had indicated only two Britons were on the ferry, but it’s understood additional citizens who were not travelling on British passports may also have been aboard. One of the rescued Britons is show-jumper Nicholas Channing-Williams, winched to safety along with fiance Regina Theofilli.
His mother Dottie Channing-Williams told Sky News tonight: “Thank God they have been airlifted to safety. “I don’t know what shape they are in. But I want to know how they are and where they are and I’m waiting for the Foreign Office to get back to me.” The vessel caught fire just after 6am local time about 35 miles north of Corfu, close to the Albanian city of Vlora, while it was travelling from Patras, Greece, to Ancona in Italy with 478 on board. Italian and Greek helicopter crews prepared to work through the night to airlift passengers off the ferry. An Albanian tugboat was this evening towing the stricken car ferry to Albania’s main port of Durres , an official in the port of Vlore said on Sunday.
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