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3 dead, 40 missing in Italian ship disaster

(Chinadaily.com.cn)

11:47, January 15, 2012

Costa Concordia cruise ship is seen after it ran aground off the west coast of Italy at Giglio island, Jan 14, 2012.(chinadaily.com.cn/agencies)

The captain of the luxury 114,500-tonne Costa Concordia was being held in jail accused of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship, Italian police said.

Passengers, some saying it felt like a rerun of the Titanic disaster, told of people leaping into the sea and fighting over lifejackets in panic when the ship hit a rock and ran aground near the island of Giglio late on Friday.

"I was sure I was going to die. We were in the lifeboats for two hours, crying and holding on to each other," said Antonietta Sintolli, 65, breaking down in tears as she recounted the event.

"People were trying to steal lifejackets from each other. We could only get ones for children."

Passengers said mainly Asian crew members, few of them able to speak Italian, struggled to bring order to the evacuation.

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