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'Don't worry, go back to your cabins'

That's what crew and passengers were told when Costa Concordia hit the rocks; cook claims Captain Francesco Schettino ordered dinner an hour after the disaster

Dramatic footage of a Costa Concordia crew member telling passengers to 'Go back to your cabins' has emerged. The plea came despite the luxury liner being fatally holed and underlines the chaotic situation in the moments after the ship struck rocks.


Relentless searches: Scuba divers and officials have searched large
swathes of the stricken ship over the six five days as hopes fade of
finding any more survivors. Pic/AFP


Holidaymakers wearing red life jackets can be seen milling on the deck of the Concordia in the mobile phone footage. Emergence of the footage came as a cook from the ship said Captain Francesco Schettino had ordered dinner at 10.30 pm -- nearly an hour after the liner struck rocks at 9.41 pm.

Questions have already been raised as to the slow response from captain Schettino in waiting more than an hour to abandon the stricken Concordia. And the footage confirms passenger accounts of how they were told to return to their cabins sending some of the victims to certain death.

The film also again underlines how Schettino and his crew were still insisting that the situation was all down to a 'electrical black out'. But by then he knew that the ship had suffered a  gash in its hull after hitting a reef off the coast of the Italian island of Giglio.

A female crew member is seen telling passengers in Italian, "The situation is under control. Go back to your cabins. We ask you that you all return to your cabins. Once the electrical problem is sorted out everything will be back to normal shortly. Everything is under control. We are resolving the problem."

However, just 30 minutes after the video was shot Schettino eventually gave the order to abandon ship.
But by then it was too late as the ship had begun to list too far over for the lifeboats to be launched safely and passengers had to make their way down of the hull using rope ladders.

Ship shifts, rescue operations halted
The cruise ship grounded off Tuscany has again shifted on its rocky perch, forcing the supension of search and rescue operations for the 21 people still missing. It's not clear if the movements registered overnight by onboard sensors are just vibrations as the Costa Concordia settles on the rocks or if it's slipping off the rocks.

Woman survivor to sue cruise company
A British expat who was on the ship is launching legal action against the company that owns the liner. Sandra Rodgers was on board with her daughter and seven-year-old twin granddaughters when the ship capsized. Rodgers was not only separated from her daughter and grandchildren but also lost her late husband's ashes. Rodgers said, "The evacuation was completely chaotic. It was disgusting."

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