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    » 01/20/2012, 00.00

    PHILIPPINES

    Costa Concordia: Filipino waiters and cooks hailed as national heroes



    Almost 300 members of the ship’s crew are from the Philippines. They helped passengers evacuate the ship, putting their own lives on the line. Their action has been seen around the country thanks to an amateur video shot during the rescue operation.
    Manila (AsiaNews) – Two-hundred ninety-six Filipinos (pictured) working on the MS Costa Concordia as waiters, dishwaters, cooks and cleaners have become national heroes for saving hundreds of passengers during the ship’s evacuation.

    Now partially submerged, the Costa Concordia is a cruise ship that capsized off Giglio Island, in Tuscany (Italy), after it ran aground. The ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, is under house arrest for dereliction of duty when he abandoned ship before all passengers were rescued. He is currently the object of an international media campaign. The ship’s operators, Costas Cruisers, are trying to lay all the blame for the accident on him.

    The actions of the Filipino staff have made the front pages of Filipino newspapers. An amateur video made by a crewmember shows waiters, cooks and stewardesses, going around helping injured and panic-stricken passengers.

    News reports have highlighted survivors’ stories, describing the heroic behaviour of Filipino staff on the Costa Concordia.

    “Those who helped us were cooks and stewardesses, all Filipinos," a French tourist said. “They roped themselves together to help us get down to the lifeboats.”

    Soon after the incident, President Aquino said, “You are men and women of courage, heroism and dedication. We commend you for showing to the world the best traits of the Filipino seafarers.”

    So far, 11 people are confirmed dead from the incident, with an additional 24 still missing.

    Since yesterday, search inside the capsized vessel stopped after it started shifting on the seabed, about 150 metres from shore.

    Among the 296 Filipinos on board, one was found dead and 21 were injured. (S.C.)
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    See also

    16/01/2012 ASIA-ITALY
    Costa Concordia: two South Koreans saved. Hundreds of Asians involved in tragedy
    Among them especially Filipino and Indian sailors. An Indian sailor among the missing. Hong Kong Chinese, Turks and Israelis saved. An Israeli couple filmed the incident and dramatic moments of rescue.

    04/07/2008 PHILIPPINES
    Cardinal Vidal: End controversy and accusations over Typhoon Fengshen
    It is still unknown what the causes were that led to the sinking of the ship Princess of the Stars: the company that owned it is accusing the weather bureau, while fishermen are asking for compensation for the polluting of the ocean. Only the Catholic Church is calling for "serious reflection to prevent similar disasters".

    01/05/2009 PHILIPPINES – ITALY
    Eugenio Vagni speaks to wife, but his release remains uncertain
    Contacts with Muslim leaders continue to secure the humanitarian worker’s release. Military continue their pressure in the area on Sulu Island where abductors and hostage are thought to be. Bandits split into four smaller groups.

    03/06/2015 CHINA
    Hopes vanish of finding survivors of the sunken cruiser amid mounting protests
    There are only 14 survivors. The Transport Minister Yang Chuantang says "as long as there's even a little hope, we will give it 100% and will absolutely not give up " search of sunken ship. Relatives of the missing accused the shipping company and the Shanghai authorities of having abandoned them without giving any information.

    19/12/2011 RUSSIA
    Russian oil rig sinks, little hope for 39 missing
    Another tragedy in Russia brings attention to infrastructure conditions and the failure to comply with safety standards. On the platform, half the passengers were unauthorised.



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