Passengers on the stricken Costa Concordia were told to return to their cabins, 40 minutes after the cruise ship struck a rock, according to Italian TV.
It has broadcast new pictures of the chaos on board the liner in which people are seen being given this advice by a crew member:
“On behalf of the Captain, we are kindly asking you to go back to your cabins or, if you wish, to stay in the corner by the lounge.”
The ship’s captain Francesco Schettino is now under house arrest, accused of causing the accident by sailing too close to the shore and then abandoning ship before the evacuation was complete.
Italian media has also broadcast a recording of what it said was a crew member telling the coastguard the vessel had only suffered a blackout. This conversation began, the news channel said, around 30 minutes after the accident.