Italian media reported on Tuesday the discovery of a charred body in the car port of the Norman Atlantic ferry, which went up in flames on December 28 while traveling from Greece to Italy.

The discovery of the body brings the total death toll from the fire on the Greek-owned ferry to 12 - 10 passengers and two Albanian rescue workers have been confirmed dead - and the number of missing passengers to 18.

DNA analysis is expected to confirm the identity of the body.

The investigation of the wreck, which has been towed to the Italian port of Bari, had been held up for several weeks as fires continued to smoulder in the car park, where it is believed the blaze first broke out. Extensive wreckage and toxic fumes have further hampered efforts to locate any more victims.