Costa Concordia death toll raised to 12 after a woman’s body was found on board
The death toll of Costa Concordia disaster is raised to twelve after the body of a woman has been found on board of the Italian cruise ship.
The woman, who was wearing a life jacket, was found by divers on the fourth deck of the Costa Concordia.
Twenty people are still missing after the ship, with 4,200 people on board, struck a rock in shallow waters on 13 January off Tuscany’s Giglio island.
Costa Concordia captain, Francesco Schettino, is being investigated for manslaughter, which he denies.
An unnamed police official said the woman’s body was found at around 13:30 local time (12:30 GMT) and was taken to the mainland.
“They will have to rely on DNA tests now to identify the victim after a week in the water,” he told AFP news agency.
Coastguard and navy divers resumed their search on Saturday, blasting their way into submerged areas of the vessel using explosives in an effort to find those unaccounted for.
Coast Guard spokesman Cosimo Nicastro said the body was found during a particularly risky search of an evacuation meeting point near the rear of the ship.
“The corridor was very narrow, and the divers’ lines risked snagging” on objects in the passageway, Cosimo Nicastro said.
Rescue officials on Saturday said they would not end the search until the whole ship had been examined.
One official says swift action needs to be taken to remove the fuel that is on board. An Italian naval vessel is on standby as a precaution should there be an oil leak.
The operator of the Costa Concordia is facing a class-action lawsuit in the US, it emerged on Friday.
Italy’s consumer association Codacons and two US law firms said they would file the suit against Costa Cruises on behalf of the passengers.
They want at least $160,000 for each passenger on the ship.
Captain Francesco Schettino is under house arrest, accused of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning ship before all passengers were evacuated.
Prosecutors say Francesco Schettino was sailing too close to Giglio on an unauthorized course in order to perform a “salute” – a greeting to islanders.