This is BREAKING NEWS and will be updated periodically..
Costa Cruises 950 foot long, 114,500grt ship Costa Concordia had just departed Civitavecchia, Italy when she lost power and scrapped the rocky shore near Isola del Giglio. The incident occurred around 9:00 pm local time (UTC+1). Initial reports so far state that 3 passengers have died and 50-70 are still missing. As of this post, there are currently divers scouring the wreck, searching for anyone trapped below. Passengers were just finishing up dinner when they heard a long, loud, scraping sound as the ship’s hull, came into contact with the rocky shore line. The impact left a 160ft gash below the waterline, just aft of amidships. The ship immediately began to list.
|From the AP. That may actually be the rock that still lodged in the hull|
Early this morning 2:00 ET, BBC reported that the first survivors to reach shore are telling stories of a mass panic onboard. Cabin attendant Deodato Ordona tells BBC of his tale:
Then around maybe 1 am, something like that, they announce a general emergency. So for us, we take the passengers to the muster station, 5th floor. To place them there. So we stay there. And then the ship tilt again….and then the captain announced an abandon ship. Then we are waiting on the right for the lifeboat, but it is not possible since the ship is listing.
It was at this point that passengers started jumping into the water, possibly taking the captains “abandon ship” order literally.
This incident eerily is reminiscent of the April 5, 2007 grounding and sinking of the Sea Diamond.
Micky Arison, Chairman and CE of Carnival Corp., parent company for Costa, tweeted:
"Tonight our thoughts and prayers are with the passengers and crew of the CostaConcordia."
Rival line Norwegian Cruise Line just tweeted:
Our hearts and thoughts go out to the guests, officers, crew and families of Costa Cruise Line at this very difficult time.
The scene below is actually from the inside of one of the lifeboats. (Patrick McClorey)
Russia Today has some raw footage from this morning.
|Her last position (Kind of eerie)||Her webcam that they disconnected. If any readers have the images taken just before the accident, please email me.|