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 Cruise ship runs aground off Italy; deaths reported

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PostSubject: Cruise ship runs aground off Italy; deaths reported   Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:55 am

Cruise ship runs aground off Italy; deaths reported

By NBC News, staff and news services
Updated at 8:05 a.m. ET: NBC News reports that 129 Americans were on board the cruise ship. Three bodies have been found and rescuers are still searching the sea after it ran aground.
Updated at 8:03 a.m. ET: ´╗┐Some 69 people are still missing after the cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground off the Italian coast then tipped over in the sea, according to news reports.
Updated at 6:50 a.m. ET: Specialist diving teams are being brought in to search the interior of the cruise ship Costa Concordia after it ran aground off the Italian coast, fire services spokesman Luca Cari says. So far three bodies have been recovered; Cari warns, "We don't rule out the possibility that more people will be lost," amid reports of six or eight deaths.

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET: "It was so unorganized," passenger Melissa Goduti, 28, of Wallingford, Connecticut, tells The Associated Press of the chaos after a cruise liner ran aground off Italy, leading to the deaths of at least six people. "We had joked what if something had happened today," Goduti, who had just joined the cruise ship, says.
Updated at 3:15 a.m. ET: Sky News shows a picture of the Costa Concordia on its side in the water after the cruise ship ran aground off the Italian coast Friday night. The picture, by Giglio News, can be seen here.
Published at 12:30 a.m. ET: A cruise ship with 4,200 people on board ran aground and ripped a 165-foot gash in its hull off the Tuscan island of Giglio on Friday night, and local officials reported that at least six people died. Some on the island said eight were dead.
At least three bodies were recovered from the sea, the Italian coast guard reported.
Helicopters were working to pluck to safety some 50 people still trapped aboard the badly listing Costa Concordia on Saturday, said Coast Guard Cmdr. Francesco Paolillo.

Some people were thrown into the sea when the Costa Concordia started listing, others jumped to evacuate the ship, officials said.
The ship, which reportedly cost more than $680 million, was three-quarters under water and sinking fast, a Giglio hotel clerk told NBC News on Saturday.
The Telegraph of London said some passengers jumped from the steeply listing ship and swam a short distance to the island. A photo showed the brightly lit ship teetering just outside a harbor wall.
One official said that among the dead was a man around age 65, who might have been ill or who might not have withstood the cold of the sea at night, Il Messagero said.
The 950-foot Costa Concordia had left the port of Savona at 7 p.m. local time and was sailing to Civitavecchia, its first port of call, when it ran aground around 9 p.m.
A rocky reef
Costa Cruises said 3,200 passengers were aboard, along with 1,023 crew members. Coast Guard Officials said the liner was listing at 20 degrees but was not in danger of sinking.

Paolillo, the coast guard official, speaking from the port captain's office in the Tuscan port of Livorno, said the vessel "hit an obstacle" -- it wasn't clear if it might have hit a rocky reef in the waters off Giglio -- "ripping a gash 50 meters (165 feet) across" on the left side of the ship, and started taking on water.
The cruise liner's captain, Paolillo said, then tried to steer his ship toward shallow waters, near Giglio's small port, to make evacuation by lifeboat easier. But after the ship started listing badly onto its right side, lifeboat evacuation was no longer feasible, Paolillo said.
By 1:20 a.m. Saturday the evacuation of passengers and crew had been virtually completed. But Il Messaggero said about 200 remained on board and would have to be airlifted out by helicopters. The ship's worsening position was making it difficult to complete the evacuation, officials said.
Town officials were trying to find places for the evacuees to spend the night.

A clerk at the Bahamas hotel told NBC News that 1,000 people were sheltering there. A crew member at the hotel told the clerk he heard two loud noises and the ship started leaning to one side almost immediately.
Some passengers panicked as some jumped into the cold sea to swim ashore, the clerk said.
'Very strange'
The first evacuated passengers were taken to a church for shelter on the tiny island. The church pastor told Il Messagero that women in suits and highheels were camped out in pews with frightened children. Other passsengers were taken to schools and hotels on the island, said Italian news agency ANSA.
Sky News quoted passenger Luciano Castro as telling Italian media: ''We were having dinner when all of a sudden the lights went out. It seemed as if the ship struck something and then we heard a loud bang and everything fell to the floor.
''The captain immediately came on the tannoy and said that there had been an electrical fault but it seemed very strange as the ship almost immediately began to list to one side. The glasses just slid off the table."
"It was like a scene from the Titanic," another passenger aboard, journalist Mara Parmegiani, told ANSA.
One woman also told The Telegraph: "It was just like something out of the Titanic. You could tell straight away that the ship had hit something and no way was it an electrical fault."

Passengers were first asked to put on life jackets as a precaution, witnesses said, but it soon became clear the situation was more serious when the abandon-ship signal was sounded, ANSA said.
The Costa Concordia, according to a Costa Cruises statement obtained by NBC News, was sailing across the Mediterranean Sea, starting from Civitavecchia with scheduled calls to Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari and Palermo. About 1,000 passengers of Italian nationality were aboard, as well as more than 500 Germans, about 160 French and about 1,000 crew members.
The company said it would cooperate with authorities to determine what caused the emergency.
This article includes reporting from NBC'sClaudio Lavanga in Italy and's Jim Gold and Alex Johnson and Reuters.

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PostSubject: Re: Cruise ship runs aground off Italy; deaths reported   Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:02 am

Is all news agencies!! Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad
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