Italian ferry death toll rises to 10

Ten people have died in the Norman Atlantic ferry fire accident on Sunday and it remains unclear if others are still missing, despite the rescue of more than 400 people, reports said.

The Italian authorities were reported saying that they could not yet verify the actual number of people originally onboard the 26,900 dwt ro-ro ferry.

The ferry company operating the journey from Greece’s Patras to Italy’s Ancona said a total of 478 people were onboard when it set sail.

Italian transport minister Maurizio Lupi said search and rescue efforts are continuing as many more people could still be missing and unaccounted for.

It is still unclear what caused the fire to break out early on Sunday on the car deck of the ferry.

Amid bad weather and rough seas, helicopters and nearby vessels have been working through the night to rescue passengers.

Carlo Visentini, chief executive of Visentini group that owns the ferry, said the ferry had passed a recent technical inspection despite a “slight malfunction” in one of the fire doors, according to Italy’s Ansa news agency reports. 

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