GIGLIO ISLAND, Italy: Divers searching an Italian cruise shipwreck found another body on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 12, even as they hoped those missing may have miraculously survived in air pockets a week after the tragedy.Coastguard divers discovered a woman’ s body towards the stern while searching previously inaccessible parts of the ship eight days after it hit rocks and keeled over on to its side off Italy’ s northwest coast.As for the identity of the 12th body, a police official said the families of the 21 missing people would have to wait for "DNA tests now to identify the victim after a week in the water."The discovery came hours after Italy’ s civil protection agency took command at the site on the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, and promised to continue the search and rescue mission despite the risk of an oil spill.The agency’ s head, Franco Gabrielli, said he had asked a technical committee for a fresh analysis of the "incredibly complex" situation at the doomed ship, holding 2,380 tonnes of fuel oil that could cause an environmental disaster."We have put no time limit on the search. We hope to combine the rescue mission with the removal of the oil but will wait for the findings before taking a decision," he said. The committee is to report by the end of Sunday."We are also drawing up maps which will trace the last known movements of the missing people, based on eye-witness testimonies, in the hope that searching specific zones might speed up the search," he said.Gabrielli said he had also called for a medical opinion on how long it would be possible for someone to survive inside the toppled boat, where dangerous conditions were drastically slowing the search."You cannot just open each cabin door and say ‘is anyone there?’. Some doors are jammed and if the divers opened them from below, they would be crushed by large pieces of loose furniture inside," he said.The cabins under the waterline of the vast 17-deck Costa Concordia were being searched with micro-cameras, he said, adding that "each search takes 45 minutes".The navy on Saturday blew new holes into the side of the luxury liner to search areas where panicked people may have gathered after the order to abandon ship, but authorities said the chance of finding someone alive was dwindling."We would need a miracle. Even if there was an air pocket because the ship is tilted, in these conditions, with the freezing water, the chances of finding someone alive are now remote," coast guard spokesman Cosimo Nicastro told AFP."But we will continue searching until all hope is gone," he added as the loud booms of the navy’ s micro-explosives ricocheted across Giglio island.Despite a forecast for high waves in the Mediterranean which has sparked fears that the 114,500-tonne ship could sink completely, port officials said the sea was calm and would remain so "at least until sundown".The mother of missing five-year-old Dayana Arlotti, who was on the island and had planned to leave flowers at the wreck on Friday, said she could not go through with it while a glimmer of hope remained, the Corriere della Sera reported."I cannot do it, I still have hope. It cannot be over," Susy Albertini said, as other distraught-looking relatives of the missing took a boat out to the beached ship and threw yellow and white flowers into the sea."Bring Dayana home, continue to search for her. Don’ t give up," she said in an emotional plea to rescue workers, according to the Italian daily.Priest Lorenzo Pasquotti, who sheltered passengers in his church in the hours after the disaster, told AFP on Saturday that the divers were "doing a heroic job" and had even salvaged a Madonna statue from the ship’ s chapel.He said he would be holding a mass on Sunday and urged relatives of missing people who were still on the island to attend.The liner crashed into rocks off Giglio on the night of January 13 with 4,229 people from 60 countries on board and began to keel over just as passengers were settling down for supper at the start of their cruise.Italian consumer rights’ association Codacons said on Saturday it is launching a class action suit along with two US law firms against the cruise ship operator Carnival for at least $160,000 (123,000 euros) per passenger."We want to get at least $160,000 compensation per passenger, but it could be from two to three times that much considering the fear suffered, the holidays ruined and the serious risks endured," co-head Marco Ramadori said.The Tuscan archipelago where Giglio is located is Europe’ s biggest marine sanctuary and a popular holiday spot with pristine sandy beaches."The water is already polluted. Apart from the fuel oil, just think of all the other substances that are now in the water – such as enough cleaning liquids to serve the 4,000 people on board," Gabrielli said.Eleven people have been confirmed dead in the tragedy so far, including four French nationals, one Italian and a Spaniard among the passengers and two crew members – a Peruvian waiter and a Hungarian violinist.Three of the bodies recovered had not yet been identified.The ship’ s captain, Francesco Schettino, is being investigated for multiple manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing a shipwreck, after he steered the boat too close to the island. He is under house arrest.Divers also salvaged the safe from Schettino’ s cabin on Saturday. It is thought documents inside may be useful in the investigation into the captain.He fiercely denies abandoning ship, claiming he lost his footing and fell off as the vessel lurched onto its side. He also denies reports that he was on the bridge with Domnica Cemortan, a 25-year-old Moldovan ballerina.- AFP/de.
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