NEWS

Rescuers pull 24 crew off burning cargo ship

Two rescue helicopters helped to evacuate 24 crew members from a Singapore-flagged freighter yesterday afternoon, shortly after it caught fire in the Saronic Gulf, some 35 kilometers south of Athens. The blaze on the Aniara began shortly after noon as it was sailing toward the port of Piraeus from Alexandria in Egypt and was thought to be carrying some 4,350 cars. The Greek air force and coast guard immediately dispatched two patrol vessels, a rescue boat, a navy ship and a special firefighting vessel as well as two helicopters to the scene. The helicopters helped airlift the 24 sailors off the ship, 19 of whom were from the Philippines, four from Myanmar and one from Singapore. No injuries were reported and the captain is thought to have ordered the evacuation as a precaution. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire.