Three people are confirmed dead after a cruise ship carrying more than 4,000 people ran aground off Italy, the prefect of the nearby city of Grosseto, Giuseppe Linardi, said on Saturday.
The 290-meter-long, 1,500-cabin Costa Concordia liner was on a trip around the Mediterranean when it hit a reef near the Giglio island at around 8 pm local time (19:00 GMT). The luxury vessel ran aground, sending water pouring in through a huge gash in the hull.
There were Italians, Germans, French and British among the 3,200 passengers. The Russian embassy in Italy said there were 108 Russians onboard. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Dikusarov said that there were also 30 Ukrainians among the passengers.
Russia has set up an emergency center to help relatives establish contacts with Russians stranded onboard Costa Concordia.
Most of the passengers and 1,000 crew members have been evacuated, but around 200 people were still on board around 02:30 GMT, Linardi added.