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Inspectors Detailed Safety Concerns On Ferry That Caught Fire

The Norman Atlantic had problems with its emergency lighting, fire doors, lifesaving appliances, and emergency evacuation plans, according to data from Equasis and Greek news outlets. The ferry caught fire Sunday, killing at least seven people.

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A passenger is helped as he leaves from a cargo container ship after arriving in Bari harbour, after the car ferry Norman Atlantic caught fire in waters off Greece.

The latest inspection of the Norman Atlantic cruise ship uncovered six "discrepancies" in the boat's safety features, according to data collected by Equasis, an international agency that disseminates safety-related information on ships.

The Norman Atlantic had problems with its emergency lighting, fire doors, lifesaving appliances, and emergency evacuation plans, according to the data.

The last inspection took place on Dec. 19 in Patras, Greece – the port from which the ship departed.

According to Greek news outlet Ethnos, which cited documents from the Patras Port Authority, the ship's operator was given 15 days to comply with the findings of the inspection. It is not known whether any measures to address the issues were taken.

Four Greek ship-worker unions are demanding answers about the cause of the fire and are accusing the Italian ship owner, Visemar Di Navigazone Srl, and the Greek ferry operator, Anek Lines, of not taking proper safety measures. The unions questioned whether the ferry owners had implemented the safety measures issued by inspectors and raised concerns that the ship might have been overcrowded.

"Once again, it is proven that ship owners' hunt for profit overrides the necessary measures for the protection of human life at sea," the unions said in a joint statement.

Anek Lines, which leased the ship from its owner, issued a statement regarding the safety of the ship.

The ship had undergone all "legally required inspections and was provided with all safety certificates in accordance with international safety standards in order to leave the port of Patras," it said.

Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Mary Ann Georgantopoulos at maryann.georgantopoulos@buzzfeed.com.

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