Cruise ship sinks: captain arrested, passengers tell of "panic and chaos"

Cruise ship sinks: passengers tell of 'panic and chaos'PA

Rescuers at the scene of the sunken Costa Concordia have pulled another body from the wreckage off the tiny island of Giglio, bringing the known death toll to six.

Sixteen people are still unaccounted for, including a male passenger and his five-year old daughter.

The latest body was found in a corridor, a fire department spokesman confirmed on Italian radio.

The Italian captain, who was arrested on Saturday, is still being investigated for abandoning ship and manslaughter.

According to CNN, the captain, Francesco Schettino, had been earlier interviewed by investigators in Porto Santo Stefano after the 4,200-passenger Costa Concordia struck rocks in shallow water off Italy's western coast, said officer Emilio Del Santo of the Coastal Authorities of Livorno.

Abandoning ship is the more serious of the potential charges, authorities said.

More than 12 people people are still missing.

Three of the dead have been confirmed as two French passengers and a Peruvian crew member. They had all apparently jumped into the water, along with dozens of others, during the chaotic evacuation.

Two more bodies were recovered on Sunday from one of the sunken ship's dining rooms. These are awaiting identification but are believed to be two elderly men/


Cruise ship sinks: captain arrested, passengers tell of 'panic and chaos'PA


In the early hours Sunday, rescue workers pulled a honeymooning couple from the wreckage after hearing their screams.

The man and woman, both 29, from South Korea, were honeymooning on board the liner and become stranded two decks below rescuers. It took 35 people 90 minutes to rescue them.

A third survivor, the ship's cabin service director, was been located in the ship and voice contact has been made with him.

The Daily Mail reports that group of British dancers, including 22-year-old Rosie Metcalf, were airlifted from the ship and said they were among the last to leave after they stayed behind to help others to safety.

At 3am she left a message on her father's mobile phone which said: "Hi, Dad. Just ringing to let you know that I am alive and safe and got airlifted out of the cruise ship.

"I don't know what will happen - I don't know how many are dead. I am alive... just. I think I was the last on off," she told the newspaper.

Ms Metcalf, who joined the ship in October, was in one of the ship's restaurants when the lights went out and water started coming in.

She said: "I was still in my dance clothes. I dashed off to my cabin where I had dry clothes and put them on with a life-jacket.

"I went off to help calm the passengers and do a roll-call. People then started going into the boats."

She and four colleagues who stayed on board described to the Mail how they later used a water hose to tie themselves to a handrail before they were rescued by helicopter.

Speaking to the newspaper, she said: "By the end, there were about five of us and we were the last to get off. We were getting ready to jump off and swim for it.

"The boat was at 90 degrees. Then the helicopter turned up. Guys came down in harnesses and took us off."

Another of the eight British dancers, Sarah Hudson, 22, escaped in a lifeboat.

When she first called her family they thought she was joking because it was Friday 13th.

But she admits that she didn't realise the severity of the situation until later on.

She said: I didn't realise there was a problem until the water was coming about my feet. I thought that we had just hit a wave.

"I didn't think, until I was off the boat, that we could have died. Usually I am the first person to panic but because I had to calm the passengers, I convinced myself it was going to be all right."

The head of cruise company Costa, Gianni Onorato, confirmed in a statement that the vessel "hit a rock" and pictures showed a massive gash in the Costa Concordia's hull more than 150ft (45m) long.

Some reports suggest that a power failure could have caused the ship to lose navigational control, causing it to crash into rocks.

Divers are continuing to search the stricken vessel, which was carrying 3,200 passengers as well as 1,000 crew.

Cruise ship sinks: captain arrested, passengers tell of 'panic and chaos'PA


According to the British consulate in Italy, 25 British passengers were on board, as well as 12 British crew members. All have been accounted for as safe.

Cruise ship sinks: passengers tell of 'panic and chaos'PA

The disaster struck near the Tuscan island of Giglio. Having let in water, it listed before resting half-submerged at an angle on the sea floor.

An evacuation operation involving five helicopters from the coast guard, navy and air force, as well as boats and divers, was launched after the liner began to capsize.

More than 4,000 people have been rescued, but the search continues. Those pulled from the water are being sheltered in hotels, schools and churches on the island.

Cruise ship sinks: passengers tell of 'panic and chaos'PA

According to the Press Association, one British passenger on board the liner told her father the incident "felt like the sinking of the Titanic".



Cruise ship sinks: captain arrested, passengers tell of 'panic and chaos'PA


Passenger Luciano Castro told Italian Ansa news agency: "We heard a loud noise while we were at dinner as if the keel of the ship hit something...The ship started taking in water through the hole and began tilting.

A number passengers told the Associated Press news agency that the crew had failed to give instructions on how to evacuate the ship.

Survivor Fabio Costa, a cruise ship worker, told the BBC of his experience. Here is what he said in his interview:

"All of a sudden we felt the boat hitting something and everything just started to fall... glasses broke, and everybody started to panic and run... We had no idea how serious it was until... we saw the water coming closer and closer. Everything happened really, really fast.

"People were pushing each other, and the crew was trying to help the passengers along. A lot of people were falling down the stairs and they were hurt because things fell on them.... it was pretty chaotic".

"It took them a long time to be able to launch the lifeboats, just because [the ship] was really tipped to one side. People panicking and pushing each other didn't help at all. We were trying to keep people calm but it was impossible - nobody knew what was going on.

"We saw a huge rock that was probably where the ship hit... people were having huge trouble trying to get on the lifeboats... It took hours for people to get off the ship."

"It was easier for people to jump into the sea because we were on the same level as the water... so some people pretty much started to swim because they had not been able to get on the lifeboats.

"A lot of people were already asleep, so there were a lot of people trapped in the cabins. There are still a lot of people missing."

"We were giving priority [on the lifeboats] to kids and women - we were trying to leave the men til last, but they weren't accepting, because it was their families.... Everybody was trying to get on the boats at the same time."

Listen to Fabio Costa's full interview here.

Divers said they will continue to search the main dining areas for more bodies.

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