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Searchers brave searing heat of Greek ferry, looking for more bodies in blaze that killed 11

  • Firefighters spray water in the charred Norman Atlantic Ferry in Brindisi's port on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. For a second day, fierce heat from a slow-burning blaze kept firefighters and other investigators on Saturday from searching the hold and vehicle decks of a Greek ferry for more bodies. At least 11 people perished in the pre-dawn blaze on Dec. 28 aboard the Norman Atlantic, on a voyage between Greece and Italy. Authorities fear more bodies might be inside the vehicle deck where the fire began. (AP Photo/Roberta Grassi)

    Firefighters spray water in the charred Norman Atlantic Ferry in Brindisi's port on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. For a second day, fierce heat from a slow-burning blaze kept firefighters and other investigators on Saturday from searching the hold and vehicle decks of a Greek ferry for more bodies. At least 11 people perished in the pre-dawn blaze on Dec. 28 aboard the Norman Atlantic, on a voyage between Greece and Italy. Authorities fear more bodies might be inside the vehicle deck where the fire began. (AP Photo/Roberta Grassi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Firefighters and investigators work on the Norman Atlantic ferry after it was towed into the port of Brindisi, southern Italy, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. Wearing gas masks against the smoke, Italian firefighters and investigators boarded the charred Norman Atlantic ferry on Friday and retrieved a data recorder they hope will help them discover what caused a deadly blaze. Some parts of the ferry are still burning making difficult the search for any more bodies in the maritime disaster that has already killed 11 people.  (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

    Firefighters and investigators work on the Norman Atlantic ferry after it was towed into the port of Brindisi, southern Italy, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. Wearing gas masks against the smoke, Italian firefighters and investigators boarded the charred Norman Atlantic ferry on Friday and retrieved a data recorder they hope will help them discover what caused a deadly blaze. Some parts of the ferry are still burning making difficult the search for any more bodies in the maritime disaster that has already killed 11 people. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)  (The Associated Press)

  • Smoke billows from the Italian-flagged Norman Atlantic ferry after that was towed into the port of Brindisi, southern Italy, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. For a second day, fierce heat from a slow-burning blaze kept firefighters and other investigators on Saturday from searching the hold and vehicle decks of a Greek ferry for more bodies. At least 11 people perished in the pre-dawn blaze on Dec. 28 aboard the Norman Atlantic, on a voyage between Greece and Italy. Authorities fear more bodies might be inside the vehicle deck where the fire began. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

    Smoke billows from the Italian-flagged Norman Atlantic ferry after that was towed into the port of Brindisi, southern Italy, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. For a second day, fierce heat from a slow-burning blaze kept firefighters and other investigators on Saturday from searching the hold and vehicle decks of a Greek ferry for more bodies. At least 11 people perished in the pre-dawn blaze on Dec. 28 aboard the Norman Atlantic, on a voyage between Greece and Italy. Authorities fear more bodies might be inside the vehicle deck where the fire began. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)  (The Associated Press)

Italian firefighters and forensic experts searching for bodies inside a fire-damaged ferry are braving fierce heat and thick, black smoke for the third straight day.

Brindisi Coast Guard Capt. Mario Valente said Monday that searchers are trying to reach lower decks near the Norman Atlantic ferry's car deck, where a pre-dawn blaze began Dec. 28 while the ferry sailed from Greece toward Italy.

The fire has claimed at least 11 lives. Greece says as many as 19 people might be unaccounted for; Italy says that figure might be higher. There are fears some drivers might have been sleeping in their trucks when the blaze began or that illegal migrants might have stowed away inside vehicles.

Since the onboard search began Saturday, high temperatures have thwarted entry into the vehicle deck.