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Riddle of ferry missing deepens

Greece and Italy are issuing widely different figures for how many passengers and crew are still not accounted for in the ferry fire that killed at least 11 people in the Adriatic Sea.

An Italian prosecutor has said up to 98 are unaccounted for while Greece puts that number at 18 and says Italy's list is full of duplications and misspellings.

It's also still not clear how many people were even aboard the Norman Atlantic ferry that caught fire early on Sunday as it headed from Greece to Italy. Italy's Coast Guard says 477 people were rescued.

Tugboat crews waited today for high winds and waves to ease before towing the vessel to the Italian port of Brindisi. Authorities want to inspect the ferry to see if contains any more dead.

Later a tug began towing the ferry across wind-whipped seas toward Italy. Giuseppe Barretta, owner of the tug boat company, told The Associated Press in Brindisi that the operation started near the coast of Albania.

He estimated the towing could take 15 hours, depending on weather. Earlier, the Italian Coast Guard said waves in the region were as high as five metres (16 ft) and winds were blowing at more than 40 knots (46 mph).


From Belfast Telegraph