The luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, well known by Maltese
travellers when it used to call at Grand Harbour, ran aground off the
Italian island of Giglio last night. Eight people died during evacuation
and 15 were injured.
The ship was carrying 4,000 passengers on a cruise which started from
Rome and did not include Malta in the itinerary. A spokesman for SMS,
local agents of Costa Lines, said no Maltese were thought to be aboard,
but more checking was underway.
The victims are believed to have jumped overboard in panic as the ship began to list, the Messaggero newspaper said.
One of the victims was a man in his 70s who died of a heart attack
caused by the shock to his system when he jumped into the icy waters,
Over thirty people were also injured in the accident, several seriously.
Most of the 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members were quickly
evacuated, but coast guards struggled to rescue around 200 people stuck
Helicopters with spotlights were used to help rescuers.
"At around 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) the 290-metre-long Costa Concordia
cruise ship... began taking on water and listing by around 20 degrees,"
the coast guard said in a statement, as most of those aboard were
rescued in lifeboats.
Passengers heard a large bang and were initially told the ship had
shuddered to a halt for electrical reasons, before being told to put on
their life-jackets, a passenger from the boat told ANSA news agency by
telephone. The ship may have hit a reef.
"We were having supper when the lights suddenly went out, we heard a
boom and a groaning noise, and all the cutlery fell on the floor,"
passenger Luciano Castro told ANSA news agency.
Some passengers jumped into the sea in their hurry to get off the sinking ship, according to the reports.
"It was like a scene from the Titanic," said passenger Mara Parmegiani.
The local mayor said they were trying to find room to accommodate the rescued passengers, including pregnant women and children.
"We are trying to accommodate them anywhere we can, in schools,
nurseries, hotels, anywhere that has a roof," said mayor Sergio Ortelli,
who added that some passengers were even bedding down for the night in
The Costa Crociera company, which owns the vessel, said that it was
not yet possible to say what caused the problem, but that the evacuation
had been fast.
"The ship was on a cruise in the Mediterranean, leaving from Savona
with planned stops in Civitavecchia, Palermo, Cagliari, Palma, Barcelona
and Marseille," the company said.
"There were around 1,000 Italian passengers on board, as well as 500
Germans and around 160 French people," it added, without giving details
about the rest.
The cruise ship -- which boasts 58 suites with balconies, five
restaurants, 13 bars, five Jacuzzis and four swimming pools -- had set
off from the Civitavecchia port near Rome earlier yesterday when it ran
Boats from the nearby port helped evacuate the passengers and crew.
Source: Times Of Malta
In: Regional News
Tags: Malta, Iatly, Cruise liner, ship, emergency, evacuation, rescue, Costa Concordia, listing, Savona, Mediterranean sea, island, Giglio
Location: Italy (load item map)
Views: 11586 | Comments: 11 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 3
|Liveleak on Facebook|