Three people are known to have died and around 40 others are still unaccounted for after the ship, which was carrying thousands of passengers, including British holidaymakers, apparently struck a rock.
A man and a woman were reportedly later found alive in a cabin on the stricken vessel by firefighters.
Survivors of the disaster have described chaotic scenes "like something out of the Titanic" as the Costa Concordia tilted and started to sink.
Pictures showed a massive gash in the hull more than 150ft (45m) long. There was a huge rock embedded in the side and the liner was on its side.
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