A passenger is helped off the Euroferry Olympia by rescuers and coast guard officers as he arrives at the port of Corfu, on February 18, 2022. (Photo by Stamatis KATAPODIS / Eurokinissi / AFP)

One injured in cruise ship fire off Greece

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A fire broke out Friday on an Italian-flagged cruise ship sailing through the Ionian Sea, injuring one crew member among the nearly 300 people on board, the Greek coastguard said.

The fire on the Euroferry Olympia, which was heading to Italy from the Greek port city of Igoumenitsa, broke out at 4:30 am (0130 GMT).

It was carrying 239 passengers and 51 crew on board as well as vehicles.

The injured crew member was 42 years old, a coastguard official told AFP.

Television images showed the man, walking with difficulty and helped by firefighters.

He was transported to Corfu on a coastguard patrol boat and was hospitalised with breathing difficulties, according to local media reports.

“The passengers of the cruise ship were transferred safe and sound on rescue boats to Corfu,” Rodi Kratsa, the governor of the Ionian Islands region told Greek public broadcaster ERT television.

Television images showed the ship, owned by Italy’s Grimaldi Lines, enveloped in flames that sent plumes of black smoke into the sky.

The cause of the fire, which erupted off the Greek island of Ereikousa, is still unknown.

Greek coastguard patrol and towboats were rushed to the site and a frigate, and two helicopters took part in the rescue operations.

There is heavy maritime traffic between the western Greek ports of Igoumenitsa and Patras and the Italian ports of Brindisi and Ancona.

The last shipboard fire in the Adriatic occurred in December 2014 on the Italian ferry Norman Atlantic.

Thirteen people died in the blaze. (AFP)