News24

5 more bodies found in Concordia wreck

2012-03-23 09:05

Rome - Five more bodies were found in the wreckage of the semi-submerged cruise liner Costa Concordia on Thursday and will be recovered in the next few days, Italy's civil protection agency said.

The Costa Concordia was carrying 4 229 passengers and crew when it struck rocks off Giglio island in Tuscany and keeled over on the night of January 13, killing 32 people.

So far 30 bodies have been found - including those discovered on Thursday - but two people are still missing.

A civil protection agency spokesperson initially said: "Three bodies were found today in the stern of the ship by a remote controlled robot which was searching the area. They will be recovered in the next few days.

"After so long in the water they will be difficult to identify."

Hours later, officials said two more bodies had been found.

Meanwhile, salvage workers who began pumping 2 400 tons of fuel oil from the ship's tanks on February 12 were in the very last stages of the operation and "will be finished by Saturday", the agency said.

Italian prosecutors have placed the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, and first officer, Ciro Ambrosio, under investigation for the disaster.

Dozens of survivors have launched lawsuits against cruise line Costa and its US parent company Carnival Corp in France, Germany and the United States.

Costa has offered uninjured passengers €11 000 each plus expenses as compensation.