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Cruise ship toll rises

17 January 2012, 10:15

Rome - Rescuers found a body in the wreckage of the luxury liner Costa Concordia early on Tuesday, bringing to seven the death toll after it ran aground off the coast of Italy, daily La Stampa said on its website.

The body had not yet been recovered, the report said, quoting rescue workers. A further 28 people remained missing, La Stampa said.

The captain of the cruise ship that capsized off Tuscany made an unauthorised, unapproved deviation from the ship's programmed course, a "human error" that led to the grounding of the vessel, the chief executive of ship's Italian owner said on Monday.

The comments from Costa Crociere chairperson and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi ramped up the pressure on the captain, who already is under investigation by authorities for suspected manslaughter and as well as allegations he abandoned ship before the passengers were safe, violating the Italian navigation code.

The Costa Concordia ran into a reef on Friday night and capsized into the port area of Giglio, sparking a frantic evacuation of those onboard. Coast Guard officials have expressed concern that the ship might slip off the rocks where it is currently perched.

On Monday, the rescue operation was called off as weather worsened. Foschi said it wasn't because the ship had shifted but because divers heard "sounds" coming from inside and didn't know what was causing them.


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