Spanish survivors of the Costa Concordia disaster on Sunday began returning home from Italy. The cruise vessel, with some 4,000 passengers aboard, ran aground off the coast of the island of Giglio in the province of Grosetto on Friday night.
So far five people have been confirmed dead and some 20 more are reported missing. Among the passengers were 177 Spanish nationals, 15 of whom flew to Madrid on Sunday morning with another 42 leaving for Barcelona. "The Titanic runs through your mind," said one. "We thought we were going to die," added another.
All of the Spanish passengers have been accounted for, according to the embassy in Rome, except for 68-year-old Guillermo Gual, whose family is in Italy awaiting news. On Sunday evening Italian news reports said that Gual's body had been found.
The ships' captain, Francesco Schettino, has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and for abandoning the vessel before its passengers were safe.
"The black box is talking," said Francesco Verusio, leading the investigation. "There is an hour of difference between the moment of impact [9.45pm] and the alarm being raised with port authorities [10.43pm]"