Authorities at the Italian port of Brindisi on Monday fully extinguished the fire that had been burning on board the Norman Atlantic ferry for more than two weeks, raising hopes that the stalled investigation into the ferry disaster will intensify.
Equipment was assembled on Monday with the aim of extracting the smoke from the vehicle deck of the Italian-flagged, Greek-chartered vessel.
So far, nine passengers have been confirmed dead. There were three Greeks among them. The postmortem examinations on the nine bodies recovered so far also began on Monday. However, another 18 people, including nine Greeks, are still unaccounted for. Authorities might find the bodies of some of the missing once they are able to search the vehicle deck thoroughly.
The prosecutor leading the investigation into the tragedy has asked for the ferry to be towed to Bari, where there are better facilities to conduct the probe and eventually clear the ship of the charred vehicles on board.