‘Charge Concordia captain over deaths’

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AN ITALIAN prosecutor has formally requested a manslaughter charge be brought against the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that crashed into a reef off Tuscany last year, killing 32 people.

The prosecutors’ office in Grosseto also wants Francesco Schettino to be tried for causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship while the frantic evacuation of passengers and crew was still being conducted.

A judge must decide whether to order a trial for Schettino and five others named in the request.

Prosecutors also said Costa Crociere, the Italian cruise company, had asked for a plea bargain deal which, if accepted, could see it pay a €1 million (£880,000) fine.

The ship went aground while sailing close to the shore.