Cruise Ship Runs Aground Off Tuscany Coast

Some vacationers die as they try to jump from the listing ship.
5:45 | 01/14/12

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Transcript for Cruise Ship Runs Aground Off Tuscany Coast
-- what one passenger said it looks like a scene out of Titanic. -- luxury cruise ship running and round up the coast of Italy. Thousands were evacuated but some people just panicked. And jumped overboard at least three people are dead this morning and right now rescuers are out searching the waters for survivors there. ABC's llama Hasan is in London this morning with more -- good morning. Good morning double even at this hour rescuers -- going from cabin to cabin trying to find survivors. May being trapped as a cruise line -- began to tilt steeply almost half sizing overnight. And it was a major operation at least five helicopters were deployed and divers have to scour the -- looking for missing passengers. -- ABC news has learned that the US embassy has established an emergency response team. There -- at least eighteen American vacationers on board and they are now being taken to safety and room. Plunged into darkness it was a dramatic rescue operation. Helicopters hovered close of the ship desperately looking for survivors. Plucking at least fifty passengers to shore. As dawn broke you could see clearly what they were up against this video from republika TV shows the line -- almost submerged in water. The luxury cruise ship caustic and -- run aground eighteen miles off the coast of Tuscany. With 3200. Passengers and a thousand crew members on board. -- -- came gushing into the -- it was a race against time. Passengers described the scene as pure chaos everybody with a screaming go of the passengers were running up and down. Some vacationers panicked when the ship began to tilt scrambling to get to safety by jumping but they died trying to escape. We don't. Undersea. -- -- so we don't. And they edited it and I got -- They were awarded to put on life jackets and get until light -- but according to some survivors they couldn't get into them. Because the cruise liner was tilting so much the boats couldn't be lowered into the -- Most of the 4200 onboard were evacuated and rescued with lifeboats taking to the nearby island G media. Many passengers were having dinner when they heard allowed back they were initially told the ship -- and electrical problems. In the passenger on the diamond and described it and they said that we should say it's a coincidence nothing in this dramatic -- problem or just some blood doping. But the she was ordered sealed. The 950. -- ship which is equivalent to just over three football fields set out for an eight day Mediterranean cruise. A dream vacation for many the quickly turned into a nightmare. A terrifying ordeal passengers complain the crew failed to give instructions on how to -- evacuating cruise liner. Which could be sent down their response to this accident a full and -- investigation. Is now under way beyond. All right -- just -- horrifying scene we appreciate it thank you. And we speak with one of those Americans who was on the ship -- Kaelin is from Washington State she was aboard the ship and is joining us now. On the phone from Italy Italy and thank you so much for joining us and -- the first brush -- ask is how you're feeling right now. I'm very thankful that can't even explain how horrible it was and -- they know. I -- read it is hopeful that it wasn't happy here. No one. No one knew what to do it happened never came on. We knew we -- going down even mark exactly what they kept saying everything with video favorite but the people. And -- I wanna get to the details in just a moment that set the scene -- -- you read the ship had just left port a few hours before. You were sitting down to dinner and then what then you heard the crash well. We got about 915930. Class yet and -- -- -- will take -- -- in New York helped me. It'll all his -- clothing and out. They everything. Com down and -- it really what they want. -- gotten flat one of the -- although I left my friend and seeking Illinois Roland on the ground. And he thought he could -- having that I like that. I didn't thought hopefully backpack pack and it -- things and that. You don't like him falling on people's doors I -- not getting -- -- And -- flannel button -- I get them there. What American who was on aboard the ship described the scene as purely chaotic as seen from the Titanic what would you support that. My management that the water yet haven't gotten my hand -- the water with apple won't. He got. And Lynn -- there -- three fatalities as we know of as of now do you think they could've been avoided. Have the crew gone -- -- other procedures. I can't see it isn't quite there is no reason but. It yet and it felt that without it yet but it felt it. -- -- -- -- -- -- Anyway I don't know about it couldn't -- -- and knocked out of it but I would ask the I don't. -- know work that. Then got up off the -- -- -- -- cool there. Sounds like it was -- don't -- -- what are. And so they were shared disarray were were happy and fortunate that you were in -- able to get off board it safely along with your friend we appreciate your time this morning Lynn thank you so much for joining us. Can still hear the panicked and shocked her voice obviously understandably so there's an investigation going on as to what happened and that the crew could have reacted differently I think they have better safety measures in place.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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