Giglio, Italy (CNN) — The captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia may have made “significant” errors that led to (dẫn đến việc) the vessel’s grounding (leo cạn, mắc cạn) Friday and subsequent deaths (các trường hợp tử vong sau đó) of at least five people, the cruise line (hãng tàu biển) said Sunday.
“The route of the vessel (thủy trình) appears to have been too close to the shore, and the captain’s judgment (phán đoán) in handling the emergency (xử lý tình huống khẩn cấp) appears to have not followed standard Costa procedures (thủ tục an toàn),” Costa Cruises said in a statement (đưa ra tuyên bố).
The ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, was detained (bị bắt giữ) Saturday for alleged manslaughter (cáo buộc tội ngộ sát), causing a shipwreck (đắm tàu) and abandoning ship (rời bỏ tàu) while passengers were still on board (còn trên tàu), chief prosecutor (trưởng công tố) Francesco Verusio told Italy’s ANSA state news agency.
Schettino himself joined Costa Cruises as a safety officer (sĩ quan phụ trách an toàn) in 2002 before being appointed captain four years later, the company said.
First officer Ciro Ambrosio was being detained for questioning (để thẩm vấn) on similar charges (các cáo buộc), prosecutor Verusio said.
Even with its admission that mistakes were made, the Genoa-based (có trụ sở tại Gê noa) cruise company (công ty tàu khách thương mại) — whose parent firm, Carnival Corp., did not respond Sunday to requests from CNN for more information — defended the ship’s crew in the face of criticism (trước sự chỉ trích gay gắt)
“It is becoming clear that the crew of the Costa Concordia acted bravely and swiftly to help evacuate more than 4,000 individuals during a very challenging situation (tình thế rất gay go),” the company said, adding all crew members are trained and the passengers earlier took part in an evacuation drill.
Survivors have described the scene — after the ship hit rocks in the island of Giglio, off the coast of Tuscany, and turned over on its side — as “chaos.” (hỗn loạn)
“It was just battling, mad scrambles,” American student Brandon Warrick said of the fight to board lifeboats, describing it as “a giant every man for himself”. (một tình trạng quá rõ ai có thân tự cứu lấy mình)
His sister Amanda said she feared she was going to die as they waited for up to two hours for rescue (cứu hộ).
“Waiting was definitely the worst. Because we didn’t know who was going to be coming, how much longer we would have to wait,” she said.
Authorities (các giới chức chính quyền) have said at least 20 were injured due to the incident, in addition to those killed.
That death toll (tử vong) includes two elderly people (người già) whose bodies were found, with their life jackets on (vẫn còn mặc áo cứu sinh trên người), near one of the ship’s restaurants, Italian Coast Guard spokesman Capt. Cosimo Nicastro told reporters Sunday.
Hours earlier, crews rescued a ship employee trapped in (bị kẹt trong) a ship restaurant.
The man — an Italian purser (nhân viên chăm sóc trên tàu) whose name was not released — was suffering from hypothermia (giảm thân nhiệt) when rescue crews found him, said Commander Filippo Marini, a spokesman for the Port Authority of Porto Santo Stefano.
Earlier Sunday, before the two bodies were found, Giglio Mayor Sergio Ortelli said at least six ship workers and 11 passengers were still unaccounted for (mất tích, không có tin tức).
Authorities are reviewing passenger lists to confirm the exact number of missing people, (người bị mất tích) said Giuseppe Orsina, a spokesman with the local civil protection agency (phát ngôn nhân của cơ quan bảo vệ dân sự ). Many of those rescued in the early hours were taken to small churches and other buildings around the island for shelter. (chỗ tạm trú) Some were still wearing the pajamas and slippers they had on as the ship went down (khi tàu bị lật).
“These people could be still on the island of Giglio, in private houses (nhà dân) or in hospitals,” Orsina said.
There were fears the death toll could rise as rescuers searched (lục tìm) the ship, which was nearly 50% submerged, authorities said.
Divers resumed (tái tục, tiếp tục lại công việc) their search Sunday morning for people unaccounted for after rocks tore a gash (xé toác một vệt dài) in the hull (thân tàu) Friday evening. As this effort continued, questions and criticism continued about what caused the shipwreck and the adequacy of the response (liệu công tác cứu hộ có thích đáng và kịp thời không).
Speaking on Italian television, the ship’s captain insisted the rocks that the Concordia hit were not marked (không được đánh dấu) on his map.
“On the nautical chart, it was marked just as water,” Schettino said, adding that the ship was about 300 meters from shore.
But Nicastro, the Coast Guard spokesman, insisted that the waters where the ship ran aground were well-mapped (được đồ bản chi tiết). Local fishermen say the island coast of Giglio is known for its rocky sea floor (đáy biển nhiều đá ngầm).
“Every danger in this area is on the nautical chart (bản đồ hải dương),” Nicastro said. “This is a place were a lot of people come for diving and sailing. … All the dangers are known.”
He said the Coast Guard was investigating why the ship took the course (đi vào lộ trình này) it did.
“We know where the ship was,” he said. “We know it was too close to the island. … We don’t know why.”
Italian prosecutors seized the ship’s data recorders Saturday, and expect to analyze them within days. Costa Cruses said Sunday that it can only access that information with authorities’ permission (theo sự cho phép của chính quyền).
Built in 2006, the Concordia had been on a Mediterranean cruise from Rome with stops (trạm dừng) in Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari and Palermo.
The ship was carrying about 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members (thủy thủ đoàn) when it ran aground and began taking on water Friday night.
The crew kept going because they believed the vessel could continue sailing normally, said Nicastro, the Coast Guard spokesman. Realizing there was a significant safety problem, the commander steered (lái, chuyển hướng) the Costa Concordia closer toward the port of Giglio, he said.
Authorities are looking at why the ship didn’t send a mayday (tín hiệu báo nguy, SOS) during the accident.
Besides the two elderly people, the dead include two French tourists and a crew member from Peru, port authorities in Livorno said. One of the victims was a 65-year-old woman who died of a heart attack (cơn đau tim), authorities said.
Rescuers overnight Saturday reached two South Korean passengers who had been trapped in (bị kẹt trong) the ship for more than 24 hours, authorities said.
“It’s a miracle (một phép màu) that we found the Korean couple alive (vẫn còn sống), and we hope we’ll find more people,” said Nicastro of the Italian Coast Guard.
The couple, both 29, were found in a cabin after they heard rescuers calling out (kêu, la réo gọi) and managed to make contact, according to Italy’s ANSA news agency. Video showed the couple, reportedly on their honeymoon, being taken ashore (mang lên bờ) and loaded into (đưa lên, vào) a waiting ambulance.
CNN’s Alexander Felton, Marilia Brocchetto, Livia Borghese, Hada Messia, Michael Martinez, Melissa Gray, Phil Gast, Chelsea J. Carter and journalist Barbie Nadeau contributed to this report.