Death toll in ferry fire rises to 10
Updated: 2014-12-30 09:06
Relatives and friends of missing and/or rescued people from the Norman Atlantic ferry, wait for their beloved at the port of Igoumenitsa in northwestern Greece December 29, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
"Everyone there was trampling on each other to get onto the helicopter," said Perlis, who said he and another man tried to impose order.
"First children, then women and then men. But the men, they started hitting us so they could get on first. They didn't take into consideration the women or the children, nothing," Perlis said. He said he reached safety after jumping in a helicopter basket carrying a girl.
Turkish passenger Saadet Bayhan, speaking to Turkey's NTV television from a rescue ship, confirmed that there were no fire alarms and that passengers woke each other up.
"We experienced the Titanic. The only thing missing was that we didn't sink," she said.
Another rescued Turkish passenger, Aylin Akamac, told the state-run Anadolu Agency from a hospital in Brindisi that the rescue operation was disorganized and that there were only three lifeboats on the ferry.
"Those who got out first got on the lifeboats," she said, while the others were made to wait. "We were soaked from the water they doused to extinguish the fire. Our feet froze. People were forced to move closer to the fire to keep warm. We waited outside for hours."
Survivors were also taken to southern Italian hospitals in smaller numbers in the hours immediately after the rescue operation got underway. Several were treated for hypothermia, some for mild carbon monoxide poisoning and one woman suffered a fractured pelvis, officials said.
Winfield reported from Rome. Colleen Barry in Milan; Costas Kantouris in Thessaloniki, Greece; Suzan Frazer in Ankara, Turkey; Elena Becatoros, Derek Gatopoulos, Nicholas Paphitis and Demetris Nellas in Athens, Greece; and Frances D'Emilio in Rome contributed
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