Costa Concordia Runs Aground

January 14, 2012 by staff 

Costa Concordia Runs AgroundCosta Concordia Runs Aground, Italian authorities were questioning Saturday the captain of a cruise ship that ran aground, knocking the vessel on its side and killing at least three people, with dozens more missing, officials said.

The Italian captain, Francesco Schettino, was being interviewed by investigators Porto Santo Stefano on what happened when the 4,200-passenger Costa Concordia, owned by Genoa-based Costa Cruises, slammed into shallow water off Italy’s western coast, said officer Emilio Del Santo of the Coastal Authorities of Livorno.

Authorities are looking at why the ship didn’t hail a mayday during the accident near the Italian island of Giglio on Friday night, officials said.

“At the moment we can’t exclude that the ship had some kind of technical problem, and for this reason moved towards the coast in order to save the passengers, the crew and the ship. But they didn’t send a mayday. The ship got in contact with us once the evacuation procedures were already ongoing,” Del Santo said.

“Fear and panic are comprehensible in a ship long over 300 meters with over 4000 passengers,” Del Santo said. “We can confirm that the ship has a breach on the hull of about 90 meters, and that the right side of it is completely under water.”

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