News24

New video: Concordia bridge chaos

2012-02-11 16:16

Rome - Italian prosecutors investigating the Costa Concordia tragedy say they want to use newly-surfaced video footage showing at times confused activity on the command bridge of the cruise ship as it began sinking.

The images were obtained by television news programme TG5 and broadcast on Friday evening, four weeks after the Concordia ran aground near the island of Giglio, off Italy's western coast.

At one stage a voice from one of the people in the dimly lit command bridge is heard saying: "The passengers are entering the lifeboats by themselves." To which someone - identified by TG5 as captain Francesco Schettino - calmly replies: "Vabbuo [ok]".

The exchange apparently took place almost an hour after the ship ran aground and several minutes before an official order to abandon ship was issued.

The Telegraph published the excerpt today.

Schettino is currently under house arrest in Italy and faces charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship before all of the around 4 200 passengers and crew were evacuated.

To date, 17 people have been certified dead from the disaster, while 15 remain unaccounted for.

Several survivors have since complained that they were not assisted by the crew during the evacuation and have described scenes of chaos and panic.

The video could help prosecutors piece together how the Concordia crew reacted in the aftermath of the ship's running aground, including the behaviour of Schettino.

In an earlier part of the footage, which has been posted on several newspaper websites, crew members are shown going to and fro on the bridge while discussing the flooding of certain parts of the vessel, while being apparently undecided as to what to do next.

It was not immediately clear who recorded the video, the existence of which was not previously know to investigators, news reports said.