ROME - A large Italian cruise ship carrying more than 4,000 people ran aground on a sandbar off the west coast of Italy overnight, and rescue workers were quoted on Saturday as saying at least six people had been killed in the incident.
The some 3,200 passengers and 1,023 crew on board the ship, the 290-meter-long Costa Concordia, were being evacuated by lifeboats, helicopters and other ships in the area, a statement from the Italian coastguard said.
They were being taken to the tiny island of Giglio and put up in schools, homes and churches for the night. The ship ran aground at about 10 p.m. near Giglio off the Tuscan coast.
The Italian news agency Ansa quoted rescue workers as saying at least six people were killed and a number injured, but that the cause of the deaths was not immediately known. Ansa said some people had jumped into the water.
No official confirmation of the reported deaths was immediately available.