Cruise Ship Runs Aground Off Italy, 3 Dead


One seriously injured passenger was transported to Siena’s hospital after the incident late yesterday, the Region of Tuscany said on its website. Rescuers worked all night as more than 4,000 of the 4,229 passengers and crew aboard were evacuated from the Costa Concordia after it started to take on water and tipped over, the country’s Civil Protection agency said on its website.

About 70 people are unaccounted for, Giuseppe Linardi, an official of the province of Grosseto, told Ansa news agency. Some of those could still be inside the ship, Alessandro Nicastro, a spokesman for Italy’s Coast Guard said on the SkyTG24 news channel. Italian media reported that the ship hit rocks as passengers were eating dinner.

There were 3,200 passengers on the ship, of which 1,000 were Italian, 500 German and 160 French, Costa Corciere said on its website. Emergency procedures started immediately though were impeded by the ship’s listing, the company said. It was not immediately possible to find what caused the accident and the company will work with authorities to investigate, it said.

Passengers Jump

Many passengers jumped off the ship as rescue operations were ongoing at 3 a.m. local time, la Repubblica reported on its website. The ship had sailed at 7 p.m. yesterday from Civitavecchia near Rome, the newspaper said. The Island of Giglio’s mayor Sergio Ortelli said in an e-mailed statement that there’s no risk of an oil spill.

Costa Crociere is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp. (CCL), the world’s largest cruise-shipping line. Carnival shares fell 2.5 percent to $34.28 in New York trading yesterday.

“Our thoughts are with guests and crew of the Costa Concordia,” Carnival said in a Twitter message. “We are keeping them in our hearts in the wake of this very sad event.”



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