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Passengers tell of panic on wrecked cruise ship

 

Italian Guardia de Finanza / AFP - Getty Images

The Costa Concordia is seen after the cruise ship ran aground and keeled over off the Isola del Giglio, late Jan. 13. Three people died and several were missing after the ship with more than 4,000 people on board ran aground sparking chaos as passengers scrambled to get off. The ship was on a cruise in the Mediterranean, leaving from Savona with planned stops in Civitavecchia, Palermo, Cagliari, Palma, Barcelona and Marseille," the company said.

Reuters

The Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy resulting in the evacuation of thousands of passengers and the ship's listing.

NBC News and news services report:

"Have you seen 'Titanic?' That's exactly what it was," said Valerie Ananias, 31, a schoolteacher from Los Angeles who was traveling with her sister and parents on the first of two cruises around the Mediterranean.

They all had dark red bruises on their knees from the desperate crawl they endured along hallways and stairwells that were nearly vertical, trying to reach rescue boats.

"We were crawling up a hallway, in the dark, with only the light from the life vest strobe flashing," her mother, Georgia Ananias, 61, said. "We could hear plates and dishes crashing, people slamming against walls."

Full story: 'I thought that was the end': Passengers tell of panic on wrecked cruise ship

Thousands of people are rescued and at least three are dead in Italy after a cruise ship hits a rock reef near Tuscany. NBC's Claudio Lavanga reports.