More than 160 people remain trapped on board the blazing Italian ferry Norman Atlantic, currently adrift in rough seas between Italy and Albania.

Helicopter crews have been airlifting passengers from the upper deck of the Norman Atlantic, which caught fire in the early hours of Sunday.

One person was killed in the risky rescue operation and two others were injured.

Bad weather hampered efforts overnight to attach cables to the ferry for towing, and a tug boat is expected to reach the ship to make another attempt.