Missing Passenger From Olympia Ferry Fire Has Been Found Alive Off The Coast Of Corfu

One of the passengers missing aboard a ferry that caught fire near Greece on Friday has been found alive, authorities say.

The Belarusian truck driver, 21, used a ladder to climb down from the ferry on to a tugboat. His first words were: "Tell me I'm alive."

Hours later, firefighters found the first body of a missing passenger in a burnt-out lorry aboard the ship.

Ten people - all thought to be lorry drivers - are still unaccounted for.

The rescued man, who appeared to be in good health, told rescuers he had heard other voices below deck.

The Italian-flagged Euroferry Olympia caught fire en route to the Italian port of Brindisi.

More than 270 were rescued from the ship and taken to the island of Corfu.

The cause of the blaze is still being investigated and the captain and two engineers were briefly detained to testify before being released.

Small fires continued to burn inside the vessel on Sunday after it was towed to a secure area north of Corfu, Greek news site Kathimerini reports. The fires are making it difficult for rescuers to search some parts of the ship which are extremely hot.

The people missing are all thought to be lorry drivers from Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, Greek authorities said earlier.

The Euroferry Olympia had left Igoumenitsa in Greece for Brindisi when the fire broke out on a car deck.

It was officially carrying 239 passengers and 51 crew, according to the company. An Afghan national who was not registered as a passenger on the ship was also rescued.

Dozens of people rescued from the ferry were taken to a hotel on Corfu. One of them, lorry driver Danilo Carlucci, told Reuters: "We saw death in front of us."

It is thought that the drivers may have chosen to sleep in their vehicles rather than the ship's overcrowded cabins, according to truckers interviewed by Greek state TV on Saturday.

Drivers and relatives of the missing people have criticised conditions on the Euroferry Olympia in interviews with Greek media.

The ferry's operator said the 27-year-old vessel had last completed a safety check on Wednesday.

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