Two Dead After Cruise Ship 'Runs Aground'

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Two Dead After Cruise Ship 'Runs Aground'

Post by GD on Sat 14 Jan 2012, 1:56 am

Two people have died after a luxury cruise ship carrying 4,200 passengers and crew is said to have run aground off the coast of Italy.

A major rescue operation was launched last night after the Costa Concordia began sinking near the island of Giglio, off the Tuscan coast.

A harbour master said it looked like it ''ran aground'', but Costa Cruises, which owns the ship, said it was ''too early to say what caused the incident".

Coastguard officials said two people had died but gave no further details.

Giglio's mayor Sergio Ortelli said he ''believed there were other victims'' although his claims were not confirmed.

As the ship began to list heavily to one side, coastguards were immediately dispatched to the scene while terrified passengers were ordered to put on life vests and man lifeboats.

There were reports of people having jumped into the water.

A helicopter and five other ships that were in the area were also used in the four-hour rescue mission.

Passenger Luciano Castro told Italian media: ''We were having dinner when all of a sudden the lights went out. It seemed as if the ship struck something and then we heard a load bang and everything fell to the floor.

''The captain immediately came on the tanoy and said that there had been an electrical fault but it seemed very strange as the ship almost immediately began to list to one side. The glasses just slid off the table.

Costa Concordia is one of the biggest ships in the Costa cruise fleet

''We were then told to put on our life vests and head to the lifeboats just to be safe but there was a real panic onboard you could see it in the faces of the people especially those with young families.

''Then a few minutes later there were seven whistles which meant everyone had to get in the lifeboats.''

Another passenger Mara Parmegiani said: ''It was just like something out of the Titanic. You could tell straight away that the ship had hit something and no way was it an electrical fault.''

The Costa Concordia had left the port of Savona at 7pm local time and was sailing to Civitavecchia, its first port of call, when disaster struck at around 9pm.

Costa Cruises confirmed that 3,200 passengers, including several British holidaymakers, were onboard at the time along with 1,000 crew members.

A webcam on the company's website showed the position of the ship with a caption reading: ''Data transmission is temporarily suspended.''

Officials said the liner was listing at an angle of 20 degrees but it was not in danger of sinking.

They added that by 1.20am the evacuation of passengers and crew had been virtually completed.

The 450m Costa Concordia is one of the biggest ships in the Costa cruise fleet. It has 1,500 cabins and was at the start of a seven-day cruise of the Mediterranean.

Prices for winter cruises in the Mediterranean on the liner start at 390 but can top 1,200 for a top of the range suite with sea view.

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Re: Two Dead After Cruise Ship 'Runs Aground'

Post by Dell on Sat 14 Jan 2012, 8:13 am

At least 50 passengers 'still missing' and three dead after luxury cruise liner carrying 4,200 people capsizes off the coast of Italy

Costa Concordia developed electrical fault two hours after leaving port

  • Three bodies recovered from water and 4,200 passengers and crew evacuated
  • One victim, 65, died from heart attack following shock of cold water
  • Passengers 'forced to leap into the water to swim to safety'
  • Liner had listed so badly 'lifeboats had difficulty being launched'

  • Passengers heard plates smashing and crawled along near vertical corridors

  • 24 Britons on board but none believed to have died or been injured
Sixty nine people are believed to be missing and three are dead after a packed cruise liner began capsizing off the Italian coast after running aground.

Twenty-four British holidaymakers were on the Costa Concordia which had left port at 7pm for a seven-day Mediterranean Cruise - but within two hours, it ran aground in the sea with a major electrical fault.

The 13 deck liner then began to take on water after hitting rocks creating a 160ft gash in the hull, near the island of Giglio, off the Tuscan coast.

About 4,200 passengers and crew were evacuated but Italian officials said this afternoon 69 had not yet been accounted for, although they warned the passenger list might not be fully up-to-date.

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