- NEW: The incident occurred during dinnertime, a witness says
- 15 are injured when the ship runs aground
- Evacuation efforts were complicated by the position of the listing ship
- Some people fell into the frigid water during rescue
The Costa Concordia, owned by Genoa-based Costa Cruises, ran aground on a sand bank just off the island, located off of Italy's western coast, ANSA reported. The incident occurred during dinnertime, witness Luciano Castro told ANSA.
The ship was carrying around 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members at the time, according to the cruise line's blog.
Evacuation efforts were apparently complicated by the position of the listing ship, according to Costa's blog post. Some passengers fell into the frigid waters during rescue, the news agency reported.
As many as 300 people were still on the ship early Saturday waiting to be evacuated, ANSA reported, citing rescuers' estimates.
"The company is working with the utmost care to give maximum support," Costa said in the blog statement.
The Concordia, built in 2006, was on a Mediterranean cruise from Rome with stops in Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Cagliari and Palermo, according to the cruise line. It was unclear how far into the cruise the grounding occurred.
Most of the passengers on board were Italian, as well as some French and German citizens.
Another Costa ship was involved in a deadly 2010 accident when the Costa Europa crashed into a pier in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh during stormy weather, killing three crew members.