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Deaths Reported after Italian Cruise Ship Sinks in Mediterranean [VIDEO]

Laura Lezza, Getty Images

It was straight out of a scene from “Titanic,” some passengers said after the Costa Concordia Carnival cruise ship ran aground and fell to its side in the Mediterranean Sea. Some reports say as many as eight have died in the Friday the 13th disaster, and more are still missing.

From the Associated Press:

The terrifying, chaotic escape from the luxury liner was straight out of a scene from “Titanic” for many of the 4,000-plus passengers and crew on the cruise ship, which ran aground off the Italian coast late Friday and flipped on its side with a 160-foot (50-meter) gash in its hull. At least three bodies had been recovered and divers searched the underwater belly of the boat for a few dozen more who remained unaccounted for. By late Saturday, the number of missing had dwindled to about 40.

Costa Cruises said about 1,000 Italian passengers were onboard, as well as more than 500 Germans, about 160 French and about 1,000 crew members. The State Department said about 126 U.S. citizens were onboard.

Coast guard Cmdr. Francesco Paolillo said the exact circumstances of the accident were still unclear, but that the first alarm aboard went off about 10:30 p.m., about three hours after the Concordia had begun its voyage from the port of Civitavecchia to Savona, in northwestern Italy. No SOS was sent, he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

The vessel “hit an obstacle,” that tore a 50-meter (160 feet) gash in the side of the ship and started taking on water, Paolillo said. It wasn’t clear if the obstacle was a jagged, rocky reef or something else, he said.

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