Captain arrested after fatal Italian cruise ship disaster

At least three dead after 290m ship ran aground off Italy with over 4,200 passengers, crew on board
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A photograph taken on Jan 14, 2012 shows the sinking Costa Concordia cruise ship. Scuba divers will begin combing the waters off Italy’s west coast today for passengers who are missing after the lliner ran aground. (All images courtesy of Getty Images)
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Rescue workers evacuated more than 4,000 of the 4,229 passengers and crew aboard, Italy’s Civil Protection Agency said on its website. (Getty Images)
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The cruise ship Costa Concordia lies stricken off the shore of the island of Giglio. More than four thousand people were on board when the ship hit a sandbank. At least 3 people have been confirmed dead and another 50 are unaccounted for
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The captain of the ship has been detained and accused of manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning the ship
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Gianni Onorato, general manager of Carnival’s Costa Crociere line, said the ship had embarked from Rome on a trip that was to include stops at ports in France and Spain.
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The liner hit rocks, and Captain Francesco Schettino, after assessing the damage, decided to secure the ship and gave the evacuation order, Onorato said.
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Pictures broadcast and printed of the Costa Concordia yesterday showed it tilted on its starboard side, a portion of the ship underwater, its orange smokestack close to the waterline. The ship was built in 2006 and has 1,500 cabins
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A scuba-diving unit is due to arrive from Genoa to search for survivors who may be inside the ship, Lieutenant Colonel Italo Spalvieri of the Livorno Air-Naval Rescue unit said
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The ship hit the rocks as dinner was being served, Italian media reported, sending plates and glasses crashing. Passengers said the situation on board was reminiscent of the film “Titanic,” as the vessel listed and people rushed to find lifeboats.
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There were 3,200 passengers on the ship, comprising 1,000 Italians, 500 Germans, 160 French and 250 from the US
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Emergency procedures started immediately and were impeded by the ship’s listing, Costa said in a statement. The cause of the incident can’t be confirmed, it said.
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The first coast guard boats arrived as soon as 10 minutes after the accident, Air-Naval Rescue Lieutenant Colonel Spalvieri said