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Costa Concordia engine-room crew says 'Captain didn't care if they died'

ANI  |  London 

The wrecked Costa Concordia's engine room crew has said "Captain didn't care if they died", while revealing harrowing details of the incident in the during the trial of Captain Francesco Schettino.

The Italian heard accounts of how engine-room staff was struck by a powerful jet of seawater and nearly drowned below decks as the ship flooded, after it slammed into a reef off the Italy's Giglio Island in January 2012, the Guardian reports.

A technician in the engine room, Hugo di Piazza, said there was a lot of fear in the engine room as the water gushed into the ship from a 50-metre hole below the water line caused by the bang.

Judges also played a recording of an intercepted phone call in which crew struggled to convince Schettino that the ship was sinking, the report added.

Another engine-room worker gave evidence that the engine room was flooded within 20 minutes of the collision.

Earlier this week, an official had described to the how Schettino had "jumped" on to a lifeboat to escape from the capsizing ship, contradicting the captain's claim that he accidently slipped into the lifeboat when the ship tilted.

Schettino is on trial and could face up to 20 years in prison, if convicted, for manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing the disaster, which left 32 people dead.

First Published: Wed, November 13 2013. 13:57 IST