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Updated | Three survivors and two more dead found on Costa Concordia

Costa Concordia cruise ship runs aground after electrical problems are encountered killing at least five people while some 17 people remain unaccounted for.

16 January 2012, 12:00am
Costa Concordia sinking off the coast of Giglio
Costa Concordia sinking off the coast of Giglio

The bodies of two unidentified elderly men were found trapped on the partially submerged Costa Concordia cruise ship which ran aground on Friday.

Three other survivors were found more than 24 hours after the crash.

The total number of reported dead has risen to five while 17 remain unaccounted for. 

The Italian cruise ship carrying more than 4,000 people ran aground off Italy and at least six to eight people were reported dead.

People tried to reach land in lifeboats or by swimming on Friday evening after the Costa Concordia cruise ship hit a sandbank.

Survivors from the luxury cruise ship described a chaotic evacuation, as plates and glasses crashed and they crawled along upended hallways trying to reach safety.

Rescue operations via helicopter evacuated the remaining people on board as the situation worsened.

Among the 3,200 passengers were Italians, Germans, French and British and an additional 1,000 crew were on board the vessel.

The Costa Concordia, which is regularly seen in Malta during summer, had sailed earlier on Friday from Civitavecchia port near Rome for a Mediterranean cruise.

The ship was due to dock in Marseill after calling at ports in Sicily, Sardinia and Spain.

A load bang was heard by passengers while they were eating dinner on and were told the ship had incurred electrical problems.

A local coast guard in Italy said the 950 foot vessel ran aground, and listed by 20 degrees after it started to take in water.

A cabin steward said that orders were given to abandon ship and crew began to take passengers to muster stations after the general emergency was announced.

The traumatising experience left several elderly passengers in tears while others jumped into the sea and swam around 400 metres to reach land.

Searches are ongoing for any possible people who remain missing while rescued passengers are being accommodated in hotels, schools and a church on Giglio which is a resort island 25 km west of Italy.