Rome: Almost two days after the Italian cruise disaster, there is still no trace of around 41 passengers from the cruise liner that sank off Italy's Tuscany coast, port officials and the local governor said on Sunday.
   
The difference between the number of people so far confirmed as safely on shore and those on the Costa Concordia's passenger list had been established at around 40, said officials at Livorno, which is handling the rescue operation.
   
Giuseppe Linardi, the governor of Grossetto, said they were trying to trace 41 people.
   
"Checks are continuing, it is a fairly lengthy task that will go on into the night,
   
"Of the 4,232 people on board, 4,191 have been found so far," he added.

Captain arrested
   
However, the captain of the cruise ship was arrested as survivors told of scenes "like the Titanic".
   
Terrified passengers tried to get into lifeboats and at least one person reportedly jumped into the sea.
   
The Costa Concordia apparently hit a reef, tearing a 70- to 100-metre (230- to 330-foot) gash in its hull, just hours after setting off from the Italian port of Civitavecchia near Rome on Friday.
   
The ship quickly listed, leaving it half submerged in shallow waters near the island of Giglio.
   
Less than 24 hours after the accident, the captain, Francesco Schettino, was arrested, prosecutors said, and Italian media reported that he faced possible charges of multiple homicide and abandoning ship before all passengers were rescued.
   
Coastguards meanwhile said divers had recovered the ship's "black box" which should contain records of the precise route and conversations among the crew.
   
Passengers earlier described panic and confusion on board after they felt the ship run into something as they sat down for dinner on Friday.
   
"There were scenes of panic like on the Titanic. We ran aground on rocks," passenger Mara Parmegiani was quoted by Italian media as saying. "We were very scared and freezing."
   
Another survivor, cruise ship worker Fabio Costa, said people panicked and began pushing in order to get into lifeboats.
   
"Everything just started to fall and everybody started to panic and run," he said.
   
"We had no idea how serious it was until we got out and we looked through the window and we saw the water coming closer and closer. Everything happened really, really fast," he said.
   
"Everybody tried to get on the boats but people started to panic so they were pushing each other and the crew was trying to help. A lot of people were falling down the stairs," he added.

(Agencies)