Witness: I saw captain flee Concordia for lifeboat

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Associated Press

Posted on November 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 11 at 11:33 AM

ROME (AP) — A witness in the Costa Concordia shipwreck trial has described how the captain jumped aboard a lifeboat, testifying how the commander wasn't the last to abandon the rapidly capsizing luxury cruise ship.

Francesco Schettino, the captain, is being tried in Tuscany for alleged manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing the shipwreck near the Tuscan island of Giglio in January 2012. Thirty-two people died in the capsizing.

Stefano Iannelli, crewman-in-training, testified Monday that Schettino jumped, shortly before he himself did, onto the roof of a lifeboat. Iannelli said he didn't see any passengers still aboard. However, hours after Schettino abandoned ship, helicopters rescued people from the capsized vessel.

Iannelli said the Concordia was listing so badly that crew formed a human chain to avoid falling while they helped people.

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