A recorded conversation between the captain of a wrecked Italian cruise liner and a port official has revealed that he left the ship before all the passengers were evacuated.
In the phone conversation, which was recorded after the crash and released to the media, captain Francesco Schettino refused to go back to the Costa Concordia to coordinate rescue operations, as ordered by local port authority chief Gregorio De Falco, Xinhua reported.
"You have to go aboard, this is an order," De Falco repeatedly told Schettino after finding the captain already on a lifeboat along with other officials.
"Go back to the ship, and tell me immediately how many children, women and people in need of protection there are on board," De Falco said.
The captain, however, who has been arrested over charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship, replied there were rescuers on board, that he himself had no choice but to get off.
The overall toll in the tragedy rose to 11 on Tuesday.