Palma.—Most of the group of Majorcans on board the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia which capsized on Friday night were said to be safe by the Central Government Delegate to the Balearics, Jose Maria Rodriguez yesterday afternoon.

But, there were fears for one of them, a 20-year-old student, after there was no response to calls to his mobile phone.
He was last seen by the rest of the group as they rushed to a life raft.
The 37 British passengers and crew who were also on board were all accounted for, however. In total there were 177 Spaniards on board the cruise ship when the liner hit a large rock killing at least three people.

Yesterday, rescuers searched for other victims after the Italian cruise ship carrying more than 4'000 people ran aground and keeled over in shallow waters. Dozens were injured and around 50 people remained unaccounted for after the 114'500-tonne, 370 million Pound Costa Concordia hit a sandbar near the island of Giglio off the coast of Tuscany as passengers sat down to dinner on Friday evening. Passengers spoke of panic and described some people leaping into the sea from the listing ship, which finally came to rest on its side, with decks partly submerged, a few hundred metres from the shore. Photographs showed a large gash along its side but officials declined to speculate on what had caused the accident in calm seas close to the shore. They said rescue efforts were continuing after a night-time operation involving helicopters, ships and lifeboats. “We have about 40 men at work and we're expecting specialist diving teams to arrive to check all the interior spaces of the ship,” said fire services spokesman Luca Cari. “We don't rule out the possibility that more people will be lost,” he said. But there was confusion around passenger lists. “It's a very complex operation because some of the passengers may have jumped into the sea and not have been picked up by rescuers, while others may have been sheltered in private houses and therefore not been identified yet,” said Giuseppe Linardi, police chief in the nearby town of Grosseto. Police and passengers quoted on television spoke of people jumping off the 290-metre-long ship, a floating resort hotel with spas, theatres, swimming pools and a discotheque. The cruise ship was due to have put into Palma, as usual, this Tuesday.


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