Three people were found alive Sunday morning, more than 24 hours after rocks tore a 160-foot gash in the hull of a cruise ship, off the coast of Tuscany. Rescue crews found the purser of the Costa Concordia trapped in the ship’s restaurant, suffering from hypothermia. A South Korean couple was also found trapped in the ship, which was nearly 50 percent submerged in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The ship, carrying 4,000 passengers and crew members, ran aground on Friday, and authorities say up to 41 people are still missing. At least 3 people were killed, and 20 others were found with injuries. Survivors, some comparing the experience to the movie “Titanic,” spoke of a chaotic and terrifying scene where passengers pushed and shoved their way to get onto lifeboats, while others leapt overboard into the sea.
Several passengers claim that crew was ill-prepared, and the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, abandoned the sinking liner before all the passengers left. The captain was detained for questioning for suspected manslaughter, abandoning the ship and causing the shipwreck.
According to the New York Times, there were 2 conflicting reports about why the cruise ship crash happened. One report claims that the ship was off course in reef-filled water just miles from the shore. The other report claims that an electrical failure caused the crew to lose control of the liner.
Local media reports said the ship had passed between the Tuscan coast and Giglio, a popular tourist destination 18 miles offshore, rather than in the open sea on the far side of the island.