THE WEEKLY WORLD EDITION OF The Daily Telegraph AND The Sunday Telegraph
January 18 - 24 2012 No. 1069
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:: NEWS PAGE P5
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The Costa Concordia, a 3,200-passenger cruise ship, ran aground off the Italian coast and then swiftly capsized after rocks ripped a 160ft-wide hole along one side
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By Robert Mendick, and Patrick Sawer in Rome AT LEAST three people died and dozens were missing after one of Europe’s largest oceangoing cruise ships ran aground off the coast of Italy.
Forty people were injured when the £370million Costa Concordia, with 3,200 passengers on board, hit a reef that ripped a hole in its side.
The ship’s captain and the first officer were arrested last Saturday night on suspicion of manslaughter and abandoning ship.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, firemen found two survivors who were trapped on the capsized vessel — more than 24 hours after the initial collision. The man and woman, South Korean newly weds, were in a cabin above the water level and were said to be in good health but were taken to hospital for checks.
Another survivor was also located alive inside the cruise ship by teams of emergency workers more than 24 hours after the disaster had struck, according to officials.
Luca Cari, the Italian firefighters’ spokesman, said rescuers had spoken to the individual but they had not yet been removed from the vessel. Divers were to resume a search for bodies at first light on Sunday.
There were believed to be 37 Britons among the passengers and crew. On Sunday, William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, told an interviewer: “We can say now, on the basis of the information available to us, that all the British nationals involved are accounted for and are safe.”
The worst cruise ship accident in living memory happened at night, with the Concordia plunged into darkness by an apparent power failure. Passengers and crew likened it to scenes from the film Titanic, as they told of their terror when the ship listed sharply and then
INSIDE Panic onboard p2
capsized in just 50 feet of water, and all within about an hour.
The collision caused mass panic, not helped by the decision to delay the order to evacuate for 45 minutes. Some passengers jumped into the water and tried to swim to shore as lifeboats could not be launched or were already full. At least one passenger is thought to have died when he hit the cold water and suffered a heart attack.
There were fears that others, including some crew, may have drowned after becoming trapped on lower decks that flooded as the ship tilted.
An investigation by Italian prosecutors was launched last Saturday. The consequences of the accident for a cruise industry worth billions of pounds could be devastating.
Investigators will want to know why the 1,000ft-long ship ran aground and how and why it began to sink so quickly.
The Concordia was just two hours into its journey from a port near Rome to Savona in northern Italy when it crashed into rocks, ripping a 160ftlong hole in its hull, at about 9.30pm last Friday.
It is not clear why the ship, with its sophisticated navigation equipment, did not detect the reef.
Before he was arrested, Captain Francesco Schettino said: “As we were navigating at cruise speed, we hit a rocky spur. According to the
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