Small Fires Still Burning in “Eleftherios Venizelos” Ferry

FILE - Smoke rises from the Eleftherios Venizelos ship as it approaches the port of Piraeus, near Athen Wednesday, Aug. 29 2018. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – Small fires were still burning on the vehicle deck of the passenger-car ferry “Eleftherios Venizelos” on Friday, three days after the fire broke out. The list developed by the ship due to the water pumped in to put out the fires, which had earlier improved, increased to seven degrees on Friday morning due to the movement of water used by the fire fighters.

According to sources, the shifting of the water was caused by the unloading of vehicles still inside the ferry with efforts now underway to pump out the water and restore the ship’s proper alignment. Several tugs are on hand to provide assistance.

According to the fire brigade, the extent of the fire has been significantly contained and there is much less smoke in the ferry compared with previous days.

The fire broke out in the ferry’s third vehicle deck, possibly due to a short circuit in a truck. It was carrying 80 trucks and 152 smaller vehicles. Most of the vehicles have now been removed though some have sustained serious damage.

Fire fighters are continuing the effort to fully extinguish the fire, while Maritime Affairs Minister Fotis Kouvelis visited the ship on Thursday for a briefing on the progress of the fire-fighting effort.

According to the ferry owner ANEK lines, reports on the damaged sustained by vehicles are being drawn up by the ship’s or individual vehicle’s insurance firms in order to begin the process of compensating their owners.