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Cruise Ship Disaster

January 15, 2012 by staff 

Cruise Ship Disaster, A South Korean honeymoon couple and an injured crewman have been plucked from a capsized Italian cruise liner, more than a day after it was wrecked, as rescue workers struggled to find any others still trapped on board.

Teams were painstakingly checking thousands of cabins on the Costa Concordia for people still unaccounted for after the huge vessel foundered and keeled over with more than 4,000 on board, killing at least three people and injuring 70.

The task is akin to searching a small town – but one tilted on its side, largely in darkness and partly submerged in freezing water. Scores of divers were taking part.

Rescue workers have airlifted Manrico Gianpetroni, chief purser, hours after making voice contact with him several decks below.

Gianpetroni, who had a broken leg, was lifted from the ship on a stretcher by a helicopter and taken directly to hospital.

“I never lost hope of being saved. It was a 36-hour nightmare,” he told reporters.

About an hour earlier, rescue workers found the two South Koreans still alive in a cabin, after locating them from several decks above, and brought them ashore looking dazed but unharmed.

The Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry has confirmed a New Zealander had been aboard a luxury cruise ship which ran aground off Tuscany, but is safe and accounted for.

The New Zealand citizen had been offered assistance by the New Zealand embassy in Rome.

The captain of the luxury 114,500-tonne ship, Francesco Schettino, was under arrest and accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship, Italian police said.

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