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Ship disaster: First batch of Indians return

The first batch of Indians rescued from ill-fated cruise ship 'Costa Concordia', which had run aground off Italy's coast on Saturday, arrived here today.

Fifteen out of the 200 Indians rescued from ship were flown to New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport here in an Emirates flight.

There were a total of 203 Indians on board the ill-fated ship - one passenger and 202 crewmembers.

Of them, 201 Indians were rescued and one is missing.

After the rescue, one Indian had decided to stay back.

The External Affairs Ministry has set up help desks at the airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad.

The luxury liner, Costa Concordia, was carrying more than 4,200 people, many of whom were having dinner at the restaurant when it hit a reef or rock near the Tuscan Island of Giglio.

While 60 people were injured in the incident, 15 onboard, including crew and passengers, were still unaccounted for.

The Indians, who were employed, have got their dues from their employers, officials said, adding the Indian mission had paid Euro 100 as ex gratia to each of them.

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