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Dutch on stranded cruise ship unharmed

None of the Dutch passengers on board a cruise ship that ran aground off Italy has been harmed, the foreign ministry says. At least 34 Dutch nationals were on the Costa Concordia when it hit a sandbar near the island of Giglio on Friday evening. The ship's owner says 42 Dutch nationals were on board the ship.

The foreign ministry says the 34 Dutch passengers had booked the cruise through a travel agent. It has no certain information on Dutch travellers who booked the trip on their own but it suspects none of them has been injured either.

Six of the 34 are due to return to the Netherlands on Saturday evening. The others are scheduled to follow in the coming days. Those who have lost their passports will be given an emergency travel pass by the Dutch consulate in Italy.

The Costa Concordia began listing after it hit rocks off the Italian island of Giglio causing a tear dozens of metres long. At least three people are confirmed dead, with 14 others injured. Some 4,234 people are believed to have been on board the ship, including 1,000 crew. Over 50 people are still missing.

(cl/jn)

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