Five more bodies recovered from Costa Concordia
SALVAGE workers have found four more bodies on the wreck of the Costa Concordia, bringing to 21 the confirmed number of dead from the accident in which the huge cruise ship hit rocks and capsized off the Italian coast last month.
Authorities said that the bodies of a woman and a five-year-old Italian girl had been recovered. Work on bringing the other bodies up from one of the sunken decks of the ship was continuing, they said.
“It would seem that there are four bodies, recovery operations are underway,” the Civil Protection Agency said in a statement.
Following the discovery of the bodies, 11 people now remain to be accounted for.
The Costa Concordia, a huge floating resort carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew, foundered off the Tuscan coast on January 13 after a rock tore a gash in its side, letting water flood into the engine rooms and causing the vessel to capsize.
Authorities said difficult weather conditions were hampering workers attempting to recover the bodies and it was unclear how long the work would take.
The ship’s captain Francesco Schettino has been blamed for the accident, which occurred when he took the ship close to the shore of the island of Giglio to perform a display manoeuvre known as a “salute”.
He faces charges of multiple manslaughter, causing an accident and abandoning ship before the evacuation of all of those on board was complete. A pre-trial hearing is due to begin on March 3.
Salvage crews are still working on pumping almost 2,400 tonnes of diesel fuel from the vast hulk, which lies partially submerged just metres from the shore of Giglio, a popular holiday island in a maritime reserve off the Tuscan coast.
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