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Captain of Italy's sunk ship taken into custody

01-15-2012 11:18 BJT

ROME, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- The captain of the cruise ship ran aground off the Italian west coast, Francesco Schettino, was taken into custody, the ANSA news agency said on Saturday.

The captain, who has denied any wrongdoing, is being questioned by local authorities. He claimed "the rock the ship impacted with was not marked in the nautical char," according to local media.

Two French and a Peruvian tourist were confirmed dead after the cruise liner with over 4,200 passengers ran aground some 400 meters from the Giglio island, a resort island 25 km off the Italian western coast, on Friday night.

Some 40 people are reportedly being treated in hospitals, and emergency teams are still searching a few missing in the waters around the 290-meter-long Costa Concordia, which reportedly listed 80 grades after hitting a big rock and at the beginning of a seven-day cruise in the Mediterranean.

Many passengers told reporters there were terrible scenes of panic as the crew had failed to give exact instructions on how to leave the ship, with over 100 people jumping into the sea.

There was a 70-meter hole in the ship and investigations are underway over the accident, ANSA reports said.

"The cruise liner was on a wrong route," a source was quoted by the ANSA as saying, adding an investigation just started will determine whether the accident was due to a human error.

On board there were around 1,000 Italian passengers, as well as 500 Germans and around 160 French people, but also Indians, Japanese and Chinese from Hong Kong, according to reports.


Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: Xinhua

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