Sunday, June 10, 2012

Costa Concordia disaster

The cruise ship Costa Concordia partially sank on the night of 13 January 2012 after hitting a reef off the Italian coast and running aground at Isola del Giglio, Tuscany, requiring the evacuation of the 4,252 people on board. Thirty-two people are known to have died; 64 others were injured(at least two seriously) and two were still missing as of April 2012. Two passengers and a crewmember trapped inside were rescued in the days after the incident.

Captain Francesco Schettino had deviated from the ship's computer-programmed route to treat people on Isola del Giglio to the spectacle of a close sail-past or near-shore salute. The ship was on the first leg of a planned 6-port cruise from Civitavecchia when she hit a reef off Isola del Giglio and started to take in water, flooding the engine room and generators, causing the ship to drift for more than an hour off the eastern shore of Isola del Giglio before running aground and being evacuated.

After the event, Schettino was arrested on preliminary charges of multiple manslaughter in connection with causing a shipwreck, failing to assist 300 passengers, and failing to be the last to leave the wreck. He was subsequently also charged with failing to describe to maritime authorities the scope of the disaster (for which seven other officers and managers of Costa Cruises are under investigation) and with abandoning incapacitated passengers.

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