A large Italian cruise ship carrying more than 4,000 people ran aground on a sandbar off the coast of Italy on Friday night and passengers and crew were being evacuated to a nearby island, coastguard officials said.

They said there were no immediate reports of injuries among the some 3,200 passengers and 1,023 crew. Those on board were being evacuated by lifeboats and other ships in the area.

The ship, the 290-metre-long Costa Concordia, ran aground at about 10 p.m. (2100 GNT) near the island of Giglio off the Tuscan coast, said the officials.

A statement from the Italian coastguard said the ship had taken on water and was listing about 20 degrees but that there was no danger of it sinking.

The cruise ship company said the cause of the incident was being investigated.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Ralph Gowling)