A total of 13 Turks have been evacuated so far from the Italian Norman Atlantic ferry, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced on Monday.

Cavusoglu's remarks came during a joint press conference with his Kazakh counterpart Erlan Idrissov in Ankara.

A tortuous international rescue effort has been under way since Sunday night in gusting winds after the Italian car ferry, with some 478 people on board, caught fire while sailing from Greece to Italy.

The fire reportedly broke out in the garage of the Norman Atlantic ferry, leaving it stricken around 44 miles north of Corfu.

During the rescue operation, a 61-year-old Greek man died after jumping off the ferry, Cavusoglu said.

Turkish diplomatic sources mentioned last night that a total of 53 Turkish citizens were among the passengers.

Sunken Turkish freighter

Cavusoglu also expressed his deepest condolences over two Turkish citizens' death after a Turkish-flagged freighter named Gokbel sank due to a collision with another merchant ship in a snowstorm off the Adriatic port of Ravenna on Sunday.

"Unfortunately two of our citizens died; five were rescued but another other four are still missing and yet to be found," Cavusoglu said. "One of the sailor's condition is critical, while the four others may be discharged from hospital."

Anadolu Agency