DIVERS on Saturday found the body of a woman while searching the wrecked Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia, the 17th victim to be found. The woman found was a crew member, indicated by the uniform she was wearing, the BBC reported. Further details of her identity or nationality have yet to be released. The death toll increased just a day after a handful of rescued passengers filed a lawsuit against the Italian cruise line.
Divers have been scouring the site since the massive liner hit rocks and rolled onto its side near an island off of Italy’ s Tuscan coast on January 13, with more than 4,200 people aboard. Fifteen people still remain missing. On Friday, Carnival Corp, the largest cruise line owner in the world, was sued over the Costa Concordia wreckage. The complaint was filed in Miami, naming six plaintiffs, four Americans and two Italians, according to lawyer Marc J. Bern. The complaint wrote the plaintiffs were “in terror of catastrophic injury, death, drowning, having been placed in a situation where common sense said the vessel was sinking but the orders from the crew were to return to their cabins,” Bloomberg reported. Bern, who is working with an Italian consumer-law group, Codacons, expects to later sue on behalf of 1,000 Costa Concordia passengers. Salvage crews have postponed pumping 2,400 tonnes of fuel from the ship’ s tanks until at least Tuesday due to weather conditions. It was expected to start on Saturday. “We were ready this morning (Saturday) to commence oil pumping in the course of the day,” said Martijn Schuttevaer, spokesman for Smit, Dutch salvage company. “Unfortunately the weather had turned in our disadvantage as it deteriorated and therefore towards the end of the morning we had to demobilise our vessel, the Moloria, back from the side of the ship back into the port here.” It could take about four weeks to complete the process of removing the fuel. Some fear that the postponement could lead to a leak, which would cause an environmental disaster in the marine national park where the ship was capsized. The Costa Concordia is lying on its side off Giglio island, where it hit rocks at the start of a Mediterranean cruise. The captain, Francesco Schettino, is under house arrest while his actions are being investigated. He is accused of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning ship before all passengers were evacuated. He denies the allegations.
- Rassegna Stampa Estera