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Costa Concordia Disaster Videos: Amateur Footage Shows Passenger Evacuation, Panic

Costa Concordia

First Posted: 01/17/12 07:21 PM ET Updated: 01/17/12 07:21 PM ET

According to Italian media reports, the captain of the Costa Concordia initially told authorities that there had simply been a "small technical failure."

After the luxury cruise liner hit rocks and capsized off the coast of Italy on Friday, amateur footage captured by passengers emerged showing harrowing scenes of the accident.

Now, a video shot by a German passenger on board the stricken cruise ship reveals that passengers were told that the problem was "an electrical fault."

"On behalf of the captain to inform you that due to an electrical fault, which is currently under control, we are currently in a blackout," a member of the crew announces over the cruise ship's speaker system.

"Our technicians are working to resolve the situation and we will inform you of developments as they occur. Thank you for your attention," he continues.

The Huffington Post U.K. reports on the captain's earlier attempt to downplay the disaster:

According to reports the captain, Francesco Schettino, claimed there was only a "small technical failure" -- but in fact the Costa Concordia had already run aground, according to the timings of a radio conversation obtained by Italian media.

The question from a port official came at 9.49pm on Friday over the ship radio: "Concordia, is everything ok?"

The response from the ship was "positive", Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.

But five minutes later the operations room at Livorno port was said to have contacted the liner again after a passenger had allegedly reported a problem and mentioned the word "shipwreck".

The inquiry was reportedly again met with the response: "It is just a technical problem."

Later, the captain got into a heated conversation with a member of the Italian coastguard, who ordered the captain to return to the ship to report on the status of the remaining passengers and assist with the evacuation.

WATCH amateur videos of the ship's evacuation in the slideshow below:

Passengers Informed Of 'Electrical Fault'
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Via CBS News, this video, shot by a German passenger on the Costa Concordia cruise ship shortly after it ran aground off the Italian coast, shows passengers being informed of an "electrical fault" and beginning to evacuate.

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Rescuers work on the cruise ship Costa Concordia as lies stricken off the shore of the island of Giglio, on January 17, 2012 in Giglio Porto, Italy. More than four thousand people were on board when the ship hit a rock off the Tuscan coast. At least 11 people have been confirmed dead and another 24 missing. (Laura Lezza/Getty Images)

Filed by Alexander Belenky  |