Friday, 4 October 2013

Costa Concordia: DNA testing begins following discovery of remains

The Costa Concordia cruise liner was hauled upright last week and the complicated 19-hour salvage operation led to the discovery of at least two bodies.

Divers recovered the bodies of two victims and what they believe to be more human remains from the tragic accident.

Authorities are already awaiting the results of separate tests on other bones found last week.

"Other [remains] have been found and are being analysed," Franco Gabrielli, the head of the search operation, told Ansa news agency.

''We are awaiting the results of scientific analyses. Before to jumping to any conclusions, we have to wait for the results to confirm whether the remains belong to the missing.''

The first group of remains were found near the fourth deck of the liner, which crashed into a reef, took on water and capsized off the Tusan island of Giglio in January 2012, killing 32 people.

The ship was hauled upright last month in a major salvage operation. The Rebello and Trecarichi families hoped works would lead to the discovery of the missing bodies.

The Costa Concordia capsized on January 13, 2012 when it moved too close to land, struck a group of large rocks, and flipped over. 32 people were killed aboard the ship.

Speaking to reporters this week, Franco Gabrielli said it was almost a miracle that they could pull two bodies from behind a 114,500 tonne vessel after 20 months of submersion.

Rebello, a 33-year-old cruise waiter from India, was last seen making his way to a muster station at the restaurant at the back of the ship after he helped numerous passengers to safety.

Trecarichi was on the cruiser to celebrate her 50th birthday with her 17-year-old daughter Stefania. They had boarded different lifeboats because Trecarichi was cold and had gone below deck to fetch a jacket. Stefania survived.

Costa Concordia Captain Francesco Schettino is on trial over the disaster on charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship.

Friday 4 October 2013


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