By Justin Worland
Updated: December 28, 2014 9:08 AM ET

At least one person was killed Sunday as rescue workers carried out an operation to save nearly 500 passengers trapped aboard an Italian ferry where a fire broke out.

Reports suggest that more than 125 passengers have been rescued by helicopter crews that were airlifting two passengers at a time from the ferry to a nearby ship, according to Reuters.

The fire broke out while the ship was traveling in Greek waters in the Adriatic Sea. The ferry has since drifted into Italian waters. Rescue workers from both countries, along with officials from Albania, have responded to the incident.

Officials said that the rescue operation has been slowed by poor conditions, including high winds and heavy rain.

“We are doing everything we can to save those on board and no one, no one will be left helpless in this tough situation,” said Greek Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis. “It is one of the most complicated rescue operations that we have ever done.”

[Reuters]

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