• Italy edition
 
Search begins for ship wreck's missing bodies
The Costa Concordia was raised earlier this month. Photo: The Parkbuckling Project

Search begins for ship wreck's missing bodies

Published: 24 Sep 2013 11:57 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Sep 2013 11:57 GMT+02:00

Salvage workers who pulled the doomed vessel upright from its watery grave last week in an unprecedented operation "have ensured the ship is secure and given the green light to begin the search," a spokeswoman said.

"Specialist divers from the coastguard, fire brigade and police have begun scouring the area between the righted ship and the land," she added.

The team is looking for the corpses of Italian passenger Maria Grazia Tricarichi and crew member Russel Rebello, whose bodies were not recovered after the nighttime disaster on January 13th 2012, which left 32 people dead.

They will also be assessing how best to carry out the search within the wrecked liner if necessary.

Franco Gabrielli, head of Italy's civil protection agency, had earlier said that the righting of the ship gave searchers a chance to access parts of the vessel previously off limits.

"When the ship toppled, corridors became deep wells. Now she is upright, we can get to areas previously off limits," he said, adding that there would likely "still be areas it is difficult to access and search."

The Concordia had 4,229 people from 70 countries on board when it struck rocks just off Giglio after veering sharply towards the island in a bravado sail-by allegedly ordered by its captain, Francesco Schettino.

It lurched over onto one side during a chaotic and delayed evacuation, throwing terrified people into the freezing sea and preventing some lifeboats from deploying.

Dubbed "Captain Coward" and "Italy's most hated man" in the tabloids for apparently abandoning ship while passengers were still on board, Schettino is currently on trial in the Tuscan town of Grosseto.

On Monday, he told the court that the ship's Indonesian helmsman was to blame for causing the accident, after misunderstanding a crucial order.

His defence team also asked permission for experts to go aboard the wreckage to determine whether technical problems contributed to the disaster, after reports that some safety mechanisms failed to function, aggravating the situation.

Schettino, who is on trial for manslaughter and abandoning ship, faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Vatican probes Italy's 'playboy priests'
Bishop Mario Oliveri has been accused of turning a blind eye to the actions of priests under his direction. Photo: RiccardoP1983/Wikimedia Commons

Vatican probes Italy's 'playboy priests'

The Vatican has launched an investigation into a diocese in north-west Italy following a series of scandals by “playboy priests”, including one being convicted for sexual abuse and another posting naked photos of himself on Facebook. READ  

Italy hit with €340m EU bill as France cashes in
The revelation comes as Italy comes under fire for its 2015 budget. Money photo: Shutterstock

Italy hit with €340m EU bill as France cashes in

Italy will have to pay the EU an estimated €340 million on December 1st, according to a leaked document which shows France is due to receive a €1 billion rebate. READ  

VIDEO
French football fans cause mayhem in Milan
St Etienne fans burn flares at Milan's San Siro stadium. Photo: Olivier Morin/AFP

French football fans cause mayhem in Milan

Around 400 French football fans caused mayhem in Milan on Thursday evening, setting off firecrackers and damaging the city’s metro ahead of a Europa League tie between St Etienne and Inter Milan. READ  

Madonna in sisterhood pledge with singing nun
Madonna posted the above photo alongside her tweet in support of Sister Cristina's remake of Like a Virgin. Photo: Madonna Facebook page

Madonna in sisterhood pledge with singing nun

Pop star Madonna has pledged lifelong sisterhood with an Italian nun who released a remake of her provocative 1984 hit, Like A Virgin, earlier this week. READ  

Italy civil unions
Silvio Berlusconi backs gay union proposal
Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi has backed a proposal for a civil union law in Italy. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Silvio Berlusconi backs gay union proposal

Italy’s ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was once better known for his anti-gay gaffes, has backed a proposal for same-sex unions in Italy. READ  

Italy 2015 budget row
Renzi vows to publish cost of EU 'palaces'
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said "we're going to have some fun" publishing data "on everything that is spent by these palaces". Photo: Emanuel Dunand/AFP

Renzi vows to publish cost of EU 'palaces'

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Thursday announced his intention to make public the cost of the European institutions, as a row exploded over his country's budget plans. READ  

Sicilian woman killed by falling palm tree
The accident happened in the centre of Catania, eastern Sicily. Catania photo: Shutterstock

Sicilian woman killed by falling palm tree

A Sicilian woman died on Thursday when a palm tree fell on her in the city of Catania, an accident blamed on high winds and the possibility the tree could have been infected. READ  

Italy 2015 budget row
Italy under fire from EU in budget battle
European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso sharply criticised Italy for publishing a letter from the EU requesting clarifications in its rule-breaking budget. Photo: AFP

Italy under fire from EU in budget battle

European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso sharply criticised Italy on Thursday for publishing a letter from the EU requesting clarifications on Rome's rule-breaking budget. READ  

Video
Outrage over politician's ironic host a migrant ad
Umberto Bosco, a Northern League politician, posted a video mocking a government proposal that would have paid €900 a month to Italians for hosting a migrant. Screengrab: YouTube

Outrage over politician's ironic host a migrant ad

A Northern League politician has sparked controversy after saying migrants could just be “fed bread and water” in a video mocking a proposal to pay Italians €900 a month to host a migrant in their home. READ  

Italy's 'bullet' campaign targets prejudice
Created by design studio Armando Testa, the campaign features portraits of people being “shot” through the head with offensive words. Image: Armando Testa

Italy's 'bullet' campaign targets prejudice

A powerful poster campaign - featuring peoples’ heads being shattered by imaginary bullets - was launched on Thursday in a bid to tackle a multitude of prejudices in Italy. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
'Italy is the real sick man of Europe'
Society
Semi-clad tourists dance in priceless fountain
National
Singing nun picks Like a Virgin for debut album
National
Where's the best place to live in Italy?
National
Amorous Italian couple get stuck in frolic at sea
Culture
Test your Italian history with The Local's quiz
Travel
Top ten: Travel warnings for Italy
International
Revealed: The cost of home comforts in Italy
Health
Nurse 'killed 38 patients for being annoying'
Culture
Breaking Balsamic: See US writer's potent parody
Opinion
Is Italy a desirable place for foreigners to work?
Culture
Top ten: Things Italian mothers say
Society
Mayors vow to defy gay marriage registration ban
Travel
How well do you know Italy's geography?
National
Ten Italian 'false friends' you need to watch out for
International
Italian student tipped to win British X-Factor
Business & Money
Italy ranked ninth most desirable place to work
Education
Why Milan uni's English switch opened minds
National
The small Sicilian town with nine centenarians
National
What Rome could teach Paris and vice versa
National
President's barber: €99k state snippers overpaid
National
Is Italy really a bad place to grow old?
Education
Pisa storms into global uni rankings
National
Unruly Italy is EU's most disobedient country
National
Italy among worst places in EU to grow old
Travel
Brit in bid to set Milan metro travel record
International
Marriage scam: 179 Italian couples claim to live in British mail box
Politics
Italy's state barbers' pay trimmed...to €99,000
Politics
eBay users snub Italy’s luxury official cars
National
Udder joy: Italian man is world's best cow-milker
Business & Money
Chinese fashion titans look to Italy for value
National
Clooney wedding 'good news for the Middle East'
National
QUIZ: Test your Italian language skills
Education
Italy top of the class for teaching English
National
Italians offered €30 a day to host a migrant
Tech
Azerbaijan beats Italy in internet stakes
Society
Marriage scrapped due to 'mummy's boy' husband
Politics
Italy separatists unfazed by Scotland's 'no'
Culture
Ten 'rude' Italian phrases you can get away with
Health
7,000 apply for two nursing jobs in Veneto
Education
Mother laments number of 'foreigners' at school
Health
One quarter of Italian teens has tried cannabis
Travel
American tourists caught with Pompeii relic
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

676
jobs available