International teams begin airlifts from flaming ferry stranded at sea

December 28, 2014 8:34 PM

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Challenged by foul weather and racing to rescue nearly 500 passengers and crew before nightfall, international relief teams began airlifts from a flaming ferry stranded between Greece and Italy.

Although the cause of the fire remained unclear, authorities in Athens said at least 140 passengers had been rescued from the Italian-flagged Norman Atlantic nearly 10 hours after a first distress alert was signaled, and a series of explosions engulfed the vessel in flames.

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