(PORTO SANTO STEFANO, Italy) — Three people are confirmed dead after a luxury ship ran aground near the island of Giglio, said the Italian Coast Guard on Saturday.
BBC News reports that the Costa Concordia was carrying 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members who had left from Civitavecchia port near Rome two hours before the accident.
Some passengers jumped overboard and swam ashore as the damaged ship tilted. Three bodies, identified as those of two French passengers and one Peruvian crewman, were recovered and 69 people are unaccounted for.
Passengers from Italy, Britain and Germany among other countries including 129 Americans were aboard the ship.
“I want to express our deep sorrow for this terrible tragedy,” said Gianni Onorato, President of Costa Crociere, the company which owns the ship. “From the moment we were alerted, Costa mobilized all its resources ashore to assist our guests and crewmembers, and to prevent potential environmental impacts.”
The captain of the ship, Francesco Schettino was questioned by Italian authorities then arrested for abandoning the ship and manslaughter.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Susan Scutti, CNN
Lorenzo Ferrigno, CNN
Andreas Preuss, CNN