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Allegra passengers en route home

Friday, March 02, 2012 - 02:32

Mar 2 - Passengers from crippled cruise ship the Costa Allegra return home to Italy and France, but do not agree on how well the incident was handled. Nick Rowlands reports.

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A joyful return to Rome for thirty-six passengers from crippled cruise ship the Costa Allegra -- just a few of the 627 passengers stranded for three days in pirate-infested Indian Ocean waters when a fire knocked out the ship's main power supply. With no air conditioning, running water, lights, or hot food, the passengers were forced to sleep on deck in stifling heat until the liner was towed into the Seychelles capital on Thursday. A group of Italian passengers returning to Milan airport had differing views on how the crisis was handled. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) COSTA ALLEGRA PASSENGER, GRAZIA DELLA ROSA, SAYING: "The commander was nowhere to be seen, the Filipino personnel needed more coordination because their work in fact was not satisfactory. The situation was really incredible. We have videos, photos, we ended up in hell. Two bathrooms for 600 people." (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) COSTA ALLEGRA PASSENGER, IVANA BARBURINI, SAYING: "The crew were very kind, more than what they did, they really could not have done. From the commander up to the last crew member they were all very kind, the assistance could not have been better. They behaved well, secured us all as soon as possible." Passengers arriving back in France were similarly divided. One man said he felt the affair was handled competently but there was room for improvement. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PASSENGER FROM VANCOUVER, CANADA, MR YANG SAYING: "You cannot say they are a hundred percent good, but under such circumstances, I would give them a ninety percent. They still have room to improve, especially in evacuation. In emergency evacuation I fear this crew is lacking training." Costa Cruises' president in France said the disaster could not be compared to the recent Costa Concordia disaster in which at least 25 people died. (SOUNBITE) (French) COSTA CROISIERES FRANCE PRESIDENT, GEORGES AZOUZE SAYING: "These two catastrophes are effectively in a very close period of time, between the Costa Concordia and the Costa Allegra, but in one it is about a catastrophe and one is a breakdown. Of course as the responsible company Costa Croisiere will take its responsibility and will investigate the reasons for these and will take the necessary dispositions." Most passengers from the Costa Allegra opted to stay on in the Seychelles to continue their holiday at the company's expense. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.

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Allegra passengers en route home

Friday, March 02, 2012 - 02:32