The Deadly Fire Aboard the Ferry Norman Atlantic

A week ago, on December 28, the Italian-owned car ferry Norman Atlantic had just left a Greek port with 487 passengers, and 12 crew aboard, bound for Southern Italy, when a fire broke out on the car deck. The flames spread quickly, the heat and smoke chasing those aboard outside into howling winds and rain. Eventually, more than 400 people were rescued, most in daring, nighttime helicopter sorties that persisted despite high winds and seas. At least 13 people are known to have died in the incident, and there are fears the final toll could be higher amid uncertainty over how many people were actually on board. The still-smoldering Norman Atlantic was towed to Brindisi harbor and authorities are now in their third day of investigations. The photos here show views of the disaster from rescue crews and from passengers aboard the vessel during the fire, as well as friends and family greeting survivors.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Saeed Khan / AFP / Getty

    Photos of Australia’s ‘Catastrophic’ Bushfires

    Images of the devastating bushfires in southeastern Australia over the past few weeks, and of those coping with the disaster

  • Marcelo Hernandez / Getty

    The Lasers of Discontent

    Images from unrest in Chile, Hong Kong, and Iraq over the past few months, where demonstrators are using laser pointers as tools of defiance.

  • Ng Han Guan / AP

    Riot Police Lay Siege to Hong Kong University Occupied by Protesters

    Some of the most violent clashes so far of the five-month-old pro-democracy protest movement in Hong Kong took place this past weekend, as riot police stormed the campus of a university where protesters had barricaded themselves.

  • Ivan Alvarado / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Prehistoric Tongue, First Snow, Panda Scan

    Autumn colors in Belgium; chess-boxing in Paris; dinosaurs in India; bushfires in Australia; impeachment hearings in Washington, D.C.; Santa Claus in Germany; tennis in London, and much more