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article imageVideo: Final panicky moments of Costa Concordia emerge

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jan 20, 2012 in World
Fresh insight into the final panicky moments of Costa Concordia have come to light with emergence of an amateur video footage of the last moments of the ship reminiscent of the 1997 movieTitanic.
A new audio recording has also emerged showing that the crew of the ship had declined offer by coastguard officials to come to their assistance.
The amateur video footage shows the panicky chaos at the final moments as passengers rush about to escape from the cruise liner. The video, according to Herald Sun, was captured by one of the passengers. It shows people in life-jackets getting into life boats and others struggling as they try to stay upright and walk on the ship's deck as it tilted. The screams of the frightened passengers can be heard clearly in the recording.
Viewers have described the video as hauntingly reminiscent of the 1997 movie Titanic.
A PR handout image of the Italian superliner  Costa Concordia  which has run aground forcing the eva...
A PR handout image of the Italian superliner, Costa Concordia, which has run aground forcing the evacuation of over 4000 passengers and crew
Costa Cruise
New audio reveals gross negligence of senior crew members
A recording of a conversation which took place about 30 minutes after the cruise ship ran aground shows that senior members of the crew refused to act in time and actually denied that anything serious had happened to the ship. In the recording, a member of crew, according to the The Telegraph, told the coastguard that the ship had only suffered a power outage and that there was no emergency of any sort.
Sky News reports the recorded conversation began about 10:12 pm local time.
But while senior crew members denied that they needed any help, many of the passengers on the ship had called friends and relatives on their mobile phones, asking that they alert the police. The police contacted the coastguard and asked them to check on the ship. A crew member was recorded replying to inquiries by the coastguard: "We've had a blackout, we are checking the conditions on board."
Even after close questioning by the coastguard, the crew member repeated there was no emergency aboard and that there had only been a blackout. The crew member promised to keep the coastguard posted.
The sinking Costa Concordia cruise ship off the coast of Italy
The sinking Costa Concordia cruise ship off the coast of Italy
Il Fatto Quotidiano
Hopes dim in the search for survivors
Meanwhile, the search for survivors resumed after it was suspended Wednesday due to unfavorable conditions at sea, as reported by Digital Journal. Forecasts of bad weather conditions have raised worries that the ship may sink to the bottom of the sea.
According to The Telegraph, two bodies recovered from the wreckage early in the week were identified as Jeanne Gannard and Pierre Gregoire, French nationals. An Italian and a Peruvian have also been identified. Among the bodies identified was one of the ship's musicians, Sandor Feher, 38.
Hopes of finding survivors are dimming and fears are now shifting to the possibility of a major environmental pollution incident. The ship, according to Digital Journal, is carrying several thousand gallons of heavy fuel oil and diesel. Italian officials say a fuel spill would be "disaster."
Sky News reports salvage workers are anxious to begin pumping the fuel from the tanks.
According to Environment Minister Corrado Clini, there is a risk that the ship may slip from the reef it is resting on and rupture its fuel tanks.
Satellite image of Costa Concordia
Satellite image of Costa Concordia
Captain admits error
Sky News reports that the captain of the ship Francesco Schettino, now under house arrest, has admitted to investigators that he made an error that caused the ship to hit the reef. Investigators had earlier blamed him for the accident, saying he came too close to shore to "make a salute," and that he abandoned ship before evacuation was complete. Sky News reports a leaked transcript in which the captain said to investigators: "I was navigating by sight because I knew the depths well and I had done this maneuver three or four times. But this time I ordered the turn too late and I ended up in water that was too shallow. I don't know why it happened."
The sinking Costa Concordia cruise ship off the coast of Italy
The sinking Costa Concordia cruise ship off the coast of Italy
Il Fatto Quotidiano
Mystery lady aboard Concordia
The Telegraph reports investigators are also probing the presence of a young Moldovan woman who was with the captain on the bridge of the ship when it hit the reef. The woman, a 25-year-old blonde, named Domnica Cemortan, was invited to the bridge while the captain sailed perilously close to shore to salute an old friend. According to The Telegraph, the young woman was a guest of one of the crew members and was not on the official list of passengers and members of the crew.
Passengers to sue cruise company
Sky News reports that Costa Cruises, the company that owns the ship says it would refund passengers and pay expenses incurred in the aftermath of the disaster. A statement by the company said:
"Costa Cruises confirms both the constant commitment and care it devotes every day to safety and its dedication to relations with the guests who represent the company's most important asset, as they have done for more than 60 years.Costa Cruises would like once again to express its great sadness over the victims and its support for their families."
Reports say that 35 Russian passengers are planning to sure the company for damages.
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