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Cruise accident "like a scene from Titanic" says passenger

cruise ship sinks(Updated 8:10AM EDT) After running aground off the coast of Italy Friday night, an unknown number of passengers are reported dead as a luxury cruise ship sinks and dawn reveals details of the tragic accident.

"It was like a scene from the Titanic,'' journalist Mara Parmegian on board for what was to be an 8 day Mediterranean sailing told the ANSA news agency.

Costa Cruises Costa Concordia ran aground on a sand bank near the Italian island of Giglio, Italy sending water pouring in through a 160-foot gash in the hull and forcing the evacuation of over 4000 passengers and crew on the ship.

"We were having dinner aboard when we heard a loud noise, like that of the keel being dragged over something," passenger Luciano Castro told Italian state radio early Saturday reports ajc. The lights went out "and there were scenes of panic, glasses falling to the floor," Castro said.

Castro said it was reported that some passengers jumped into the sea in an attempt to swim to nearby Giglio island. Evacuation efforts were apparently complicated by the position of the listing ship, according to a Costa Cruises blog post.

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