From the AP:
ROME (AP) – The Italian coast guard says a luxury cruise ship has run aground off the coast of Tuscany and that at least three bodies have been retrieved from the sea.
Cmdr. Francesco Paolillo told The Associated Press by telephone from the port city of Livorno early Saturday that there are “probably” at least three more dead, although he hasn’t received confirmation of those three. He said helicopters are evacuating some 50 people still aboard the Costa Concordia liner near the Tuscan island of Giglio.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
ROME (AP) - The Italian news agency ANSA says a luxury cruise ship with 4,200 people aboard has run aground off the Tuscan coast and that at least 6 people have died.
The report early Saturday said the Costa Concordia ran aground a few hundred meters (yards) off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, and that the passengers were being evacuated.
A statement from Costa Cruises, the company that runs the ship, confirmed that the evacuation of the 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew had begun, "but the position of the ship which is worsening is making more difficult the last part of the evacuation."
Costa Cruises’ statement did not mention any casualties, and said it had not yet determined the cause of the problem.
ANSA news agency quoted unidentified rescuers as saying six people were dead. ANSA quoted journalists who happened to be passengers aboard as telling ANSA that the evacuees were being sheltered in schools, hotels and a church on the vacation island.
Costa Cruises said the Costa Concordia was sailing on a cruise across the Mediterranean Sea, starting from Civitavecchia with scheduled calls to Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari and Palermo.
It said about 1,000 Italian passengers were onboard, as well as more than 500 Germans, about 160 French and about 1,000 crew members.