Survivors of the 2012 Costa Concordia shipwreck told an Italian court this week that ship officers told them to return to their cabins even as water was filling the ship.
The surviving passengers testified in the Grosseto, Tuscany, trial of the ship's captain Francesco Schettino. Schettino has been charged with manslaughter, abandoning ship, and causing a maritime disaster.
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According to The Telegraph, Costa Concordia survivors
told the court that many following those orders ended up caught by the rising waters.
"The crew (was) telling us to return to our cabins but we knew that we would be trapped," Ivana Codoni reportedly told the court. "Instead we rushed onto the decks to try to escape. Even now I have panic attacks. They never happened to me before the accident."
A Romanian passenger, Liliana Dobrian, said she and her husband believe they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder from the incident.
"Every half hour we were being told by the crew, it's just an electrical blackout, stay calm," Dobrian said to the court, The Telegraph reported. "After the accident my husband and I were unable to sleep. We had to see a psychiatrist and even now we suffer from fear and anxiety."
Luigi D'Eliso testified that the crew's orders eventually led to panic among the passengers.
"Some people flew into a rage," D'Eliso said in court. "One man was shouting, 'how am I going to save my children?'"
London's Daily Mail reported that Rosanna Abbinante told the court
that the passengers knew the Costa Concordia crew members were not telling them the truth, which only heightened the panic and tension.
"The passengers were beating their fists on the tables of the restaurants," Abbinante testified. "One father with a baby was screaming. They told us that it was just a technical fault but we understood that this was not the case. I wanted to return to my cabin to get my clothes but the ship was tipping. I decided not to go. I feared I would die like a rat."
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