At least 11 people are still missing while 278 were evacuated after the predawn fire broke out on Euroferry Olympia shortly after it left the port of Igoumenitsa in northwest Greece.

The ferry was headed for the Italian port of Brindisi and it was traveling in the Ionian Sea near the small Greek island of Ereikousa, 15 kilometres north of the island of Corfu, when the fire started.
The ferry was headed for the Italian port of Brindisi and it was traveling in the Ionian Sea near the small Greek island of Ereikousa, 15 kilometres north of the island of Corfu, when the fire started. (AFP)

Eleven people are missing in a fire that engulfed an Italian-flagged ferry in the Ionian Sea, the Greek coastguard said amid efforts to free two more people trapped on board.

Another 278 people had been rescued, the coastguard said on Friday, including a migrant whose presence raised fears for more unaccounted-for people on board.

At least one person was slightly injured during the evacuation, coast guard officials said.

The predawn fire broke out on Friday on the Italy-flagged Euroferry Olympia shortly after it left the port of Igoumenitsa in northwest Greece. 

The ferry was headed for the Italian port of Brindisi and it was travelling in the Ionian Sea near the small Greek island of Ereikousa, 15 kilometres north of the island of Corfu, when the fire started.

Images from local TV channels of the ferry indicated the fire was extensive.

The rescued passengers were being transported to Corfu.

Six boats from Greece's coastguard and navy participated in the rescue along with four helicopters, an Italian customs inspection boat and several passing vessels, senior coastguard official Nikos Lagadianos said.

The cause of the fire is not yet known and an investigation has begun, according to the Greek coastguard.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies