Fire breaks out on Italian ferry, 500 evacuate

More than 50 taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.

May 30, 2009 01:11
1 minute read.
Fire breaks out on Italian ferry, 500 evacuate

italian ferry fire 248.88. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Fire broke out Friday on an Italian ferry carrying more than 500 people to the island of Sicily, forcing all passengers to evacuate by lifeboat to another ferry and a coast guard vessel. The Vincenzo Florio ferry was traveling from the mainland port of Naples to Palermo, the Sicilian capital, when the fire erupted in its car hold as the boat came within 40 kilometers of its destination. The fire continued to rage as the ferry was towed toward Palermo, Sicily's fire department said. The ferry's 526 passengers were evacuated to the coast guard ship that came to the rescue and another ferry, said Palermo port official Cosimo Seminara. Some of the passengers were taken off on stretchers when the vessels arrived in Palermo. More than 50 were taken to hospital, mostly because of the effects of smoke and were soon released, officials said. Among them was a pregnant woman and two infants. Passenger Stefano Friscia said crew started knocking on the doors of cabins at 4 a.m. to tell passengers to get on deck quickly. "The smoke became darker and darker, it was hard to breathe, the whole ship filled with smoke and they ordered the lifeboats lowered," he told Sky TG24. Most of the 35 crew members initially stayed on board to help put out the flames, but the captain later ordered a complete evacuation because the fire was spreading, said Roberto Ardizzone, a spokesman for Sicily's firefighters. The cause of the fire was still being investigated. The ship, which belongs to the Italian ferry company Tirrenia di Navigazione SpA, was being towed to Palermo. Ardizzone said firefighters would have a better chance of stopping the blaze once the ship was in port. Sicily is a popular tourist destination in the Mediterranean Sea due to its sunny climate, popular beaches, the Mount Etna volcano and several World Heritage sites.

Related Content

Rashida Tlaib on interview about Arab-Israeli Conflict (August 13, 2018).
August 17, 2018
J Street cancels endorsement from House candidate for 'one state solution'