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Swiss ferry passenger missing, 13 rescued

Smoke billows from the Norman Atlantic, which caught fire in the Adriatic Sea Keystone

Swiss authorities say one person from Switzerland is still missing following Sunday’s fire aboard the Norman Atlantic ferry off Albania. Another 13 Swiss citizens and Swiss-based foreign nationals have been rescued.

This content was published on December 31, 2014 - 11:38
swissinfo.ch and agencies

"Nearly all of them are now in safety. Investigations are still underway in one case," a foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

More than 400 people were rescued from the vessel off Greece's Adriatic Coast after the fire broke out on a voyage to Italy.

Two representatives of the Swiss embassy to Italy have been sent to the southern Italian port city of Brindisi, where the main rescue vessel arrived late on Tuesday. The foreign ministry said it would contact all Swiss and Swiss-based victims to offer assistance if needed.

At least 11 people on board, as well as two Albanian seamen involved in salvage operations, have been killed and dozens feared missing in the fire.

Confusion

However, there is still confusion over the exact number of missing due to the huge discrepancies between the names on the passenger manifest and those rescued.

It is also unclear how many people, including illegal immigrants, may have boarded the ferry in the Greek port of Patras without being recorded.

Italy and Greece have opened separate investigations into what caused the fire, which broke out on a lower deck.

Helicopters and rescue vessels battled through rough seas an high winds for 36 hours, airlifting scores of people off the deck as the blaze raged below.

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