Update: The death toll from the Costa Concordia disaster is now at 11 after rescuers reportedly found five more bodies on the Italian Ship.
Transcripts of the black box conversations of the sunken luxury cruiser, Costa Concordia, reveal that Francesco Schettino, the captain of the ship, preferred to abandon the sinking ship rather than overseeing the rescue operations.
The transcripts of the conversations between the port officials and the captain of the ship were released by Italian authorities. The captain appeared to be evasive to the orders of the port officials to supervise the rescue efforts, according to the transcripts, Sky News reported.
"Now you go to the bow, you climb up the emergency ladder and co-ordinate the evacuation," the official reportedly tells the captain.
"You must tell us how many people, children, women and passengers are there and the exact number of each category".
"What are you doing? Are you abandoning the rescue? Captain, this is an order, I am the one in charge now. You have declared abandoning ship, there are already bodies".
"How many?" Schettino asks the official to which he responds: "That is for you to tell me, what are you doing? Do you want to go home?".
Schettino has been charged with manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing a shipwreck and is due to appear before a court. Costa Cruises maintained that it was the captain's "reckless manoeuvre," to "make a salute," to the port that caused the wreck, Sky News reported.
Rescuers were using explosives to reach lower cabins to look for any survivors on the ill-fated ship. According to the latest media reports, 29 people are still missing including 25 passengers and four crew members.
Fears of more causalties have mounted as many families said that their relatives have not made any contact so far. Many of them were earlier declared safely evacuated by the authorities.