Greek Soprano Dimitra Theodossiou on Board Burning Ferry Norman Atlantic, Rescued by Helicopter

By Jaime Prisco on Dec 30, 2014 11:09 AM EST

Greek opera star Dimitra Theodossiou is reported to have been one of the 478 people among the burning ferry Norman Atlantic in the Mediterranean Sea.

Theodossiou was rescued by helicopter and taken to the hospital in Lecce, but is safe and located in Rimini, Italy.

The ferry caught fire Sunday, Dec. 28, en route to Ancona, Italy, from the Greek port of Patras. But the boat workers are undergoing criticism for how they handled the emergency situation. Theodossiou described a harrowing wait for rescuers on the bridge of the ship. She said men had rushed forward from lower decks, even after being told to “give precedence to children, the elderly and women.”

“They pulled people away, pushing people aside to save themselves,” she said. “I was also struck, but I reacted to get to the helicopter, I had rage inside. I thought, it’s now or never. It was awful. I will never forget it.”

She told the newspaper that no alarms had sounded and that she awoke in her first-class cabin after smelling smoke. Initially, she said, she went to the lower deck because the lifeboats were there.

“Some were put at sea, others weren’t, and I don’t know why,” she said.

At least 10 people have died in the disaster, with concerns that some passengers might still be missing even after the evacuation has been completed.

Despite the harrowing ordeal, Theodossiou, who was on her way to Rimini for a series of concerts, including Nabucco, will continue with her original plans.

"Now the nightmare is over, I'm going to Rimini, I intend to keep my commitments if you can. I'll have to try it. Tomorrow I will be in the theater," said Theodossiou. 

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TagsGreek, Soprano, Dimitra Theodossiou, Ferry, Norman Atlantic

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