Costa Concordia captain 'fled packed ship'

Costa Concordia captain 'fled packed ship'

Hundreds of people were still on the sinking Costa Concordia liner when the captain fled the ship in a lifeboat, a court has been told.

Italian Coast Guard official Gregorio De Falco become a national hero after repeatedly ordering captain Francesco Schettino to return to the badly listing vessel.

Schettino is on trial for manslaughter, abandoning ship, and causing the 2012 shipwreck by sailing too close to the Tuscan island of Giglio.

A reef gashed the hull, water rushed in and 32 people died.

The court in Grosseto, Tuscany, heard recorded phone conversations in which Schettino told Captain De Falco about 10 people were left aboard.

Captain De Falco said hundreds were still there. Schettino never went back on the ship.

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