Blaze-ferry captain leaves ship, death toll rises to seven

Passengers leaving the Spirit of Piraeus container ship as they arrive at Bari harbour after the car ferry Norman Atlantic caught fire in waters off Greece Dec 29, 2014. Rescuers announced the discovery of two more bodies, raising the death toll to s
Passengers leaving the Spirit of Piraeus container ship as they arrive at Bari harbour after the car ferry Norman Atlantic caught fire in waters off Greece Dec 29, 2014. Rescuers announced the discovery of two more bodies, raising the death toll to seven. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ROME (AFP) - The captain of the blaze-hit ferry Norman Atlantic left his ship Monday as rescuers announced the discovery of two more bodies, raising the death toll to seven.

More than 36 hours after he sent out a distress signal, Captain Argilio Giacomazzi handed over control of the stricken vessel to Italian navy officers at 2.50pm, the navy said.