Divers searching the wreck of Costa Concordia cruise ship have found the body of a woman, bringing the death toll to 17.
Operations to pump fuel from the tanks of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship lying off the Italian coast have been delayed because of bad weather.
Dutch salvage company Smit says it now hopes to begin work next week on pumping more than 2,300 tons of diesel out of the 290m-long vessel.
The woman was wearing uniform, indicating she was a crew member.
The ship ran aground on 13 January with more than 4,200 people on board.
Another 15 people are still missing.
Divers searching the wreck of Costa Concordia cruise ship have found the body of a woman, bringing the death toll to 17
“We were ready this morning [Saturday] to commence oil pumping in the course of the day,” Smit spokesman Martijn Schuttevaer told a news conference.
“Unfortunately the weather had turned in our disadvantage as it deteriorated and therefore towards the end of the morning we had to demobilize our vessel, the Moloria, back from the side of the ship back into the port here.”
Oil pumping is now expected to begin in the middle of next week. Bad weather is forecast until Tuesday.
Smit has withdrawn a barge that had been placed alongside the hulk of the Costa Concordia.
The operation is expected to take about four weeks to complete.
The delay will add to fears that a leak could cause an environmental disaster in the marine national park where the ship capsized.
On Saturday morning divers searching submerged parts of the wreck found the body of a woman, wearing the ship’s uniform, on deck number six. No further details of her identity or nationality have been released.
The Costa Concordia is lying on its side off Giglio island, where it hit rocks at the start of a Mediterranean cruise.
Captain Francesco Schettino, is under house arrest while his actions are being investigated.
Francesco Schettino is accused of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning ship before all passengers were evacuated. He denies the allegations.
Costa Crociere, which is part of the world’s largest cruise ship operator Carnival Group, has offered uninjured passengers 11,000 euros ($14,500) each in compensation, on condition that they drop any legal action.
However, a consumer group and two US law firms are filing a class-action lawsuit in the US, demanding at least $160,000 for each passenger on the ship.
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.
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
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.