Tuesday, January 17, 2012
ROME (AP) — Five more bodies were found today from a crippled cruise ship, and a shocking audio emerged in which the ship's captain was heard making excuses as an Italian coast guard officer repeatedly ordered him to return and oversee his ship's chaotic evacuation.
Prosecutors have accused Capt. Francesco Schettino of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship before all passengers were evacuated for the grounding of the Costa Concordia on Friday night.
The Italian news agency ANSA reported that another five bodies were located today, raising the confirmed death toll to 11. Before the latest find, 29 people had been unaccounted for.
The Costa Concordia was carrying more than 4,200 people when it hit a reef off the Tuscan island of Giglio when Schettino made an unauthorized deviation from the cruise ship's programmed course.
Schettino has insisted he stayed aboard until the ship was evacuated, but the recording of his conversation with Italian Coast Guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco indicates he fled before all passengers were off — and then resisted De Falco's repeated orders to return.
"You go on board and then you will tell me how many people there are. Is that clear?" De Falco shouted in the audio tape.