According to new reports, two Albanian seamen have been killed on a tugboat while towing the fire-stricken Norman Atlantic ferry.
Both men died after being hit by a connecting cable between the vessels on December 30, Albanian officials say.
At least 11 others were killed and more than 400 were rescued, after fire broke out on the ferry in stormy seas.
It is unclear how many passengers are still missing. Rescue helicopters have been diverted after another ship sent a distress signal nearby.
Italian authorities said they were continuing to search the ferry Norman Atlantic. An 11th body was found on December 30.
They have been unable to verify the precise number of people originally on board.
The operator said 478 people had been on the ferry when it left the Greek port of Patras for Ancona in Italy, but Italy’s final tally following the rescue comes to only 437, including those who died.
Prosecutor Giuseppe Volpe told reporters in the Italian port of Bari that it was likely that other victims would be found on the wrecked ship because a number of those rescued had not been on the passenger list.
Italian Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said on December 29 that a definitive figure could not be given because of errors on the passenger list, no-shows at boarding or people getting off on a stopover at the Greek port city of Igoumenitsa.
An Albanian port authority official in Vlore told Reuters news agency that the two seamen had been hit by the broken cable.
“One man died on the spot when one cable broke after it got stuck in the propeller,” the official said.
“The other died on board a few minutes ago when being assisted by a helicopter medical team.”
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Italian authorities are not certain how many people are still missing from the Norman Atlantic ferry off Corfu, with evacuation complete.
One man died trying to escape the ship, which was on a night journey from Greece to Italy, and a further nine bodies were later found.
More than 400 people were rescued amid gale-force winds and thick smoke.
Survivors have described “scenes from hell” as order broke down aboard the ferry ahead of the rescue.
They gave accounts of passengers trampling over and hitting each other to be the first in line to be taken to safety.
Captain Argilio Giacomazzi was widely praised for staying on board to see the evacuation through, more than 36 hours after sending out a distress signal.
It is unclear what caused the fire to break out on December 28 on the car deck of the ferry. Italian prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation.
“We cannot say how many people may be missing,” Italian Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said at a press conference on Monday evening.
Photo Italian Navy
He said the reason a definitive figure could not be given was because of errors on the passenger list, no-shows at boarding or people getting off at a stopover on the Greek island of Igoumenitsa.
“That is why we are continuing our [search] effort: we cannot know what the exact number was,” he added.
Maurizio Lupi said it was up to the departure port to ensure the passenger manifest tallied with the list of those people who were rescued.
Italian navy Admiral Giovanni Pettorino said 80 of those rescued had not been on the passenger list at all. Correspondents say his remarks give credence to suggestions from Italy that the ferry may have been transporting a number of illegal migrants trying to reach Italy.
Greek Merchant Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis also said the passenger list was “possibly inaccurate” and complained about inadequate communications with Italy.
“I strongly doubt that all the names on the list are real,” he told Mega TV.
“We have two persons with the same name who turned out to be one person.”
Survivors described how the fire which began on Sunday morning had created chaotic scenes on board, with the crew apparently overwhelmed by the crisis.
Those recued have complained there were initially no fire alarms and no knocks on the door from the crew to awake sleeping passengers as thick and billowing smoke made its way into their cabins.
As passengers tried to escape from the flames by going on to the deck, they were confronted with freezing cold rain and huge waves while heat from the fire below scalded their feet.
It was then that pushing and shoving broke out as passengers fought each other to a lifeboats slot or a helicopter basket.
Some survivors suffered from hypothermia or mild carbon monoxide poisoning ahead of their rescue just after dawn Monday.
More than 230 passengers and 34 crew members were Greek nationals. Others came from Italy, Turkey, Albania, Germany, the UK and several other countries.
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The number of deaths following a fire on the Norman Atlantic ferry off Corfu has risen to 10, as the evacuation of all those on board ended.
One man was killed when trying to escape the ship, and a further nine bodies have since been found.
More than 400 people were rescued amid gale-force winds and thick smoke.
It is not clear if others are still missing. The Italian authorities said they could not verify the actual number of people originally on board.
Rescuers are still searching the vessel.
The company operating the journey from the Greek city of Patras to Ancona in Italy said a total of 478 people had been on the ship when it left.
Italian Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said that only 427 had been accounted for so far, but added that it was the responsibility of the port of departure to verify actual passenger numbers.
“That is why we are continuing our [search] effort: we cannot know what the exact number was,” he said.
Photo AP/Italian Navy
Norman Atlantic captain was the last to be rescued, more than 36 hours after sending out a distress signal.
Captain Argilio Giacomazzi handed control of the stricken vessel to the Italian navy at 13:50 GMT on December 29.
It is unclear what caused the fire to break out on December 28 on the car deck of the ferry.
Italian prosecutors announced on December 29 that they had opened a criminal investigation into the fire and would look into whether negligence had played a role.
Helicopters crews fitted with night vision equipment worked through the night to rescue passengers despite difficult conditions.
Italian Air Force helicopter pilot Major Antonio Laneve told Italian state TV that “acrid smoke” had filled his helicopter cabin, making the rescue even more challenging.
People were taken off the ship individually by helicopter, an Italian navy spokesperson said.
Most of the rescued passengers were transferred to nearby ships, although some were taken directly to hospital.
Three children and a pregnant woman were among those being treated in hospital for hypothermia, according to the Associated Press news agency.
Coast Guard Adm Giovanni Pettorino said that a member of the Italian military had been injured during the rescue.
A 62-year-old Greek man was the first of the fatalities to be recovered. He and his wife, who was injured, had fallen into the water as they tried to reach a lifeboat.
Teodora Douli, 56, told Ansa news agency that her husband may have hit his head as he fell.
“I tried to save him but I couldn’t,” she said.
Another nine bodies were found later.
Over 230 passengers and 34 crew members were Greek nationals.
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