Costa Concordia Crew Downplayed Cruise Disaster, Told Passengers to “Return to Your Cabin”

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Shortly after the ship hit a rock, a female crew member asked Costa Concordia passengers to return to their rooms where they “will be seated and tranquil.” Within hours, several of the ship’s passengers would be dead.

The amateur video footage, shot by a passenger and obtained by Italy’s state broadcaster Rai TV, shows worried passengers wearing life vests and huddling on a deck. The crew member remains calm and insists that “everything is under control.” That declaration—coupled with her rather confident body language—suggests a degree of sincerity. It also signals the extent to which her higher-ups either kept her in the dark or misjudged the situation.

(PHOTOS: Saving Italy’s Stricken Costa Concordia Cruise Ship)

“We have a message from the captain. We kindly ask you to return to your cabins, or go for a walk if you like,” she says. “We’ll resolve the electrical problem that we have with the generator. I’m kindly asking you to go back to your rooms, where you’ll be seated and tranquil.”

According to the Daily Mail, video footage shot at the same time shows water flooding into other parts of the ship. Thirty minutes later, captain Francesco Schettino ordered the evacuation of the luxury liner.

Authorities have confirmed the death of 11 passengers. The search for 21 others continues.

MORE: Costa Concordia Survivors Speak Out