The Greek victims’ three bodies of the “Norman Atlantic” naval tragedy will be repatriated with a Greek Air Force C-130, according to an announcement emerging from the country’s National Defense Ministry. The flight will depart from the Bari airport within the day and reach Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos,” while the order was given by the Minister, Nikos Dendias, following a cooperation with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ office and the government’s General Secratariat. The transfer expenses will be covered by the Defense Ministry.
The three Greek citizens that lost their lives during the fire aboard the ferry have been identified as Gerasimos Kazantzidis, Konstantinos Koufopoulos and Nikolaos Paraschis. At the same time, nine Greek citizens are still considered missing, 18 days later.
Italian-flagged passenger ferry “Norman Atlantic,” which belongs to Greek ferry line ANEK, sailing from Patras in western Greece to the Italian port of Ancona, was 33 nautical miles off the small island of Othonoi when it sent a distress signal on December 28. The prosecutor of Bari, who is in charge of the investigation regarding the naval tragedy, will seek the assistance of Greek, German and Turkish authorities in order to identify the corpses found through DNA tests. The ferry is currently docked at the port of Brindisi, although the city’s municipal authorities have declared that they will allow the charred ferry to remain there for two months at the most.