Saturday, 14 January 2012

'Six feared dead' and thousands evacuated as cruise ship hits rocks off coast of Italy

 

Holidaymakers from France, Italy, Germany and Britain were forced to flee the 1,500-cabin Costa Concordia in lifeboats when it hit a reef less than two hours after leaving port. Some leapt overboard and swam to shore as the ship started to sink into the waters near the island of Giglio, off the Tuscan coast. Francesco Paolillo, the coastguard spokesman, said that at least three bodies were retrieved from the sea and at least three more were feared dead. Pregnant women and young children were among the 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew on board. Passengers' dinner on Friday night was interrupted by a loud boom at around 8pm and a voice over the loud-speaker system initially claimed that the ship was suffering an electrical failure, before ordering everyone on-board to don life-jackets.

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