Four more bodies found on Italian cruise liner

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 22, 2012 8:24 AM
Four more bodies found on Italian cruise liner

ROME (Reuters) - Salvage workers have found four more bodies in the submerged Costa Concordia cruise liner, bringing the confirmed number of dead to 21 on the ship that ran aground and capsized off the Italian coast last month, authorities said on Wednesday.

Bad weather has prevented divers from recovering the four bodies from the ship's submerged deck, and 11 people remain missing, authorities said.

"It would seem that there are four bodies, recovery operations are underway," the agency said in a statement.

The Costa Concordia, a huge floating resort carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew, foundered off the Tuscan coast on January 13 after a rock tore a gash in its side, letting water flood into the engine rooms and causing the vessel to capsize.

Italy's Civil Protection authorities said difficult weather conditions were hampering workers attempting to recover the bodies and it was unclear how long the work would take.

The ship's captain Francesco Schettino has been blamed for the accident, which occurred when he took the ship close to the shore of the island of Giglio to perform a display maneuver known as a "salute".

(Reporting By James Mackenzie; Editing by Roger Atwood)