Divers working on the salvage operation of the Costa Concordia, which crashed off the Italian coast of Giglio in January 2012, have found human remains.
Two people have been unaccounted for since the night the Costa Concordia sank off the Italian shore in a disaster which claimed the lives of 30 other people.
The 951 ft vessel was raised upright last week in a major salvage operation off Giglio island.
Costa Concordia’s Captain Francesco Schettino is on trial over the disaster in January of last year.
Francesco Schettino is accused of manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship, but says he is being made a scapegoat for others’ errors.
“During a search in the water near the central part of the ship, coast guard and police divers found remains which still have to be identified with DNA,” Italy’s civil protection agency said in a statement on Thursday.
The agency’s head, Franco Gabrielli, reaffirmed that further tests were needed but told reporters the remains were “absolutely consistent” with the two missing people, said Reuters news agency.
Recovering the remains after 20 months under the weight of the cruise ship was “almost a miracle,” Franco Gabrielli said.
An Indian waiter, Russel Rebello, and Italian passenger Maria Grazia Trecarichi were reported missing, presumed dead, after the disaster.
It was thought that perhaps they had been trapped beneath the ship and the rocks.
Divers found remains lying just outside the hull on the seabed. They still have not been brought ashore, and the process of running DNA identification tests is yet to begin.
Relatives of the two missing people have been informed of the find.