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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.


Divers working on the salvage operation of the Costa Concordia have found human remains near wreck

Divers working on the salvage operation of the Costa Concordia have found human remains near wreck

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.

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Costa Concordia cruise ship was finally pulled upright after a dramatic 19-hour salvage operation.

Salvage officials believe the bodies of waiter Russel Rebello and passenger Maria Grazia Trecarichi could be found in a lifeboat beneath the ship’s hull.

It was hoped remains would become visible as the complex system of cables and hydraulics hauled the vessel – on which 32 lives were lost – from its side.

Salvage teams worked through the night for 19 hours – and decks eventually became visible after being underwater for 20 months since it went down.

The vessel is covered in rust and stained by the sea, while all the windows which were submerged in Giglio harbor, Italy, have been shattered.

Kevin Rebello, the waiter’s brother, and Elio Vincenzi, passenger Maria Grazia Trecarichi’s husband, were expected to arrive on the island today.

“I haven’t slept since yesterday,” Kevin Rebello said in an interview in Rome.

“It’s taken 20 months. If it takes another 20 hours, for me it’s worth the wait.”

Elio Vincenzi said: “I am still hoping to find my wife. This is a tense wait for me and for my daughter.”

Despite fears the ship may break apart before it reached the crucial angle of 65 degrees, the operation has gone smoothly, but slower than expected.

Costa Concordia cruise ship was finally pulled upright after a dramatic 19-hour salvage operation

Costa Concordia cruise ship was finally pulled upright after a dramatic 19-hour salvage operation

The $800 million salvage effort is said to be the largest in maritime history, but there will be no saving the $575 million liner – destined for the scrapyard.

Local residents and survivors said that there was an eerie feeling as the ship rose – and some said the sight reminded them of the tragedy.

“Seeing it re-emerge is emotional for me,” said survivor Luciano Castro.

“I could not miss it. That ship could have been my end and instead I am here.”

The operation will not be complete until the vessel is towed away from the island – probably by next spring, after a full survey is done on the wreckage.

Shortly after 4 a.m. today, a foghorn wailed on Giglio island and the head of Italy’s Civil Protection agency announced that the ship had reached vertical.

Franco Gabrielli added that the operation to rotate the cruise liner – known in nautical terms as parbuckling – was complete.

Some 36 giant cables were put across the hull to drag up the ship – and enormous tanks were welded onto its side and filled with water to act as ballast.

“We completed the parbuckling operation a few minutes ago the way we thought it would happen and the way we hoped it would happen,” said Franco Porcellacchia, project manager for the Concordia’s owner, Costa Crociere Spa.

“A perfect operation, I must say.”

No environmental spill has been detected so far, he said. Applause rang out among firefighters in the tent where the engineers made the announcement.

An hour later, Nick Sloane, the South African chief salvage master, received a hero’s welcome as he came ashore from the barge that had served as the floating command control room for the operation.

“Brilliant! Perfetto,” Nick Sloane said, using some of the Italian he has learned over the past year on Giglio preparing for Tuesday’s operation.

“It was a struggle, a bit of a roller coaster. But for the whole team it was fantastic.”

Costa Concordia slammed into a reef off Giglio Island on January 13, 2012, after the captain brought it too close to shore.

Costa Concordia cruise ship drifted, listed and capsized just off the island’s port, killing 32 people.

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Toxicology tests revealed that traces of cocaine have been found on a hair sample taken from Francesco Schettino, the shamed captain of the capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship.

Lawyers representing the survivors described the findings as “very strange” and called for Captain Francesco Schettino to be tested again.

Toxicology tests revealed cocaine was lying on the hair sample and in the evidence envelope the hair was in.

However, no cocaine was found in his hair or in his urine, which would indicate usage, according to the consultant who did the analyses for prosecutors.

Francesco Schettino has stood by the results, but said tests are needed to see if the samples might have been contaminated.

Italian consumer protection group Codacons is representing some survivors of the shipwrecked cruise liner, which rammed a reef near Giglio island the night of January 13.

The Italian news agency ANSA quoted the forensic medical expert who carried out the toxicology test as dismissing Codacons’ concerns about the external trace of cocaine.

Toxicology tests revealed that traces of cocaine have been found on a hair sample taken from Francesco Schettino, the shamed captain of the capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship

Toxicology tests revealed that traces of cocaine have been found on a hair sample taken from Francesco Schettino, the shamed captain of the capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship

The expert, Marcello Chiarotti, said the modest trace of cocaine “was a marginal problem that absolutely doesn’t invalidate the results of the analysis” that found none of the drug inside the hair itself or in the urine.

Traces of cocaine in the urine or inside the hair itself would have pointed to consumption.

Francesco Schettino, 52, is under house arrest in his home near Naples while he is investigated for alleged manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship.

The Costa Concordia captain has denied abandoning ship and insisted the reef was not marked on navigational charts.

Questions have been raised about Francesco Schettino’s behavior on the bridge in the critical moments before the ship ran aground.

Domnica Cemortan was seen cavorting with Captain Francesco Schettino in the minutes before his cruise liner foundered on rocks.

Italian authorities believe Francesco Schettino – dubbed Captain Coward – may have been distracted from his command by trying to impress the dancer.

Domnica Cemortan, who has a two-year-old daughter, had worked as a translator for the Costa Concordia but was on holiday on the ship at the time of Friday night’s disaster.

A grainy photograph was taken of her on the bridge.

Thirty-two people are believed to have died, including 15 whose bodies have not been found.

Marcello Chiarotti was described as expressing confidence in the results.

“We will be able to clear this problem up later,” he told ANSA.

ANSA said that traces of the drug might have resulted if Francesco Schettino’s hair had come in contact with someone who had handled cocaine.

Costa Concordia cruise ship was carrying some 4,200 passengers and crew on a week’s cruise on its standard route when it crashed into the reef during dinner a couple of hours after leaving an Italian port.

Divers have been searching sections of the wreckage where some of the missing were last seen in hopes that more bodies can be recovered.

After much delay, in great part because of stormy weather, pumping operations have been under way for a week to remove some 500,000 gallons of fuel from the ship’s tanks.

Italian rescue teams have abandoned their search for bodies inside the wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia after conditions underwater deteriorated.

“We have definitively stopped the underwater search inside the ship,” a spokesman for the fire brigade on Giglio island said.

Fifteen people are still missing after the ship ran aground off Italy on 13 January with the loss of 17 lives.

Work to recover the capsized vessel may take up to 10 months.

Italy’s civil protection agency, which has been overseeing rescue efforts, said it had contacted the families of the missing, and the foreign embassies involved, to explain its decision.

Emergency crews would continue to inspect the part of the ship that is above the water line and use specialist equipment to check whether there could be any corpses on the sea bed, it said.

Italian rescue teams have abandoned their search for bodies inside the wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia after conditions underwater deteriorated

Italian rescue teams have abandoned their search for bodies inside the wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia after conditions underwater deteriorated

Divers have described tricky conditions inside the ship, with corridors cluttered with furniture and turbid waters.

Dives has been limited to a maximum of 50 minutes, making it difficult to penetrate far into the vessel.

Work to pump out more than 2,300 tons of fuel from the ship has been hampered by bad weather.

The operation to move the ship itself cannot safely begin until the fuel is removed.

The 114,500-ton Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground on rocks with more than 4,200 people on board.

Costa Concordia was holed by a rock after being steered by its captain to within 150 metres (yards) of the tiny island of Giglio.

Captain Francesco Schettino is under house arrest in his home town of Meta di Sorrento, near Naples, while his actions are 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.

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

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

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.

Fears are growing for the 29 people now listed as missing after the Costa Concordia crashed into rocks off Italy’s west coast on Friday night.

Emergency crews have worked through the night at the wreck of a stricken cruise ship.

Six people are known to have died in the disaster up to now.

Local coast guard chief Marco Brusco said there was just a “glimmer of hope” that survivors could be found.

The ship’s owners have blamed Captain Francesco Schettino for Friday’s crash, saying he changed course towards an island.

Captain Francesco Schettino, 52, has been detained on suspicion of manslaughter and a judge is due to decide shortly whether he should remain in custody.

Italy says it will declare a state of emergency over the incident, and provide funding to help avert any environmental disaster.

The Italian environment minister said liquid was leaking from the ship, but it was unclear if it was fuel.

Fears are growing for the 29 people now listed as missing after the Costa Concordia crashed into rocks off Italy's west coast on Friday night

Fears are growing for the 29 people now listed as missing after the Costa Concordia crashed into rocks off Italy's west coast on Friday night

Meanwhile, Italian officials have denied a newspaper report that a seventh body had been found overnight on the vessel.

Italian Coast Guard officials said the number of people believed to be missing had jumped to 29 from the previous estimate of 16, but gave no reason for the change.

The missing are thought to include four crew members, as well as passengers from the US, Germany, France and Italy.

On Monday, the Costa Concordia’s owners, Costa Cruises, said Captain Francesco Schettino hit the rocks because he deliberately steered the ship towards to Giglio Island.

Prosecutors also claim that Francesco Schettino was responsible for the disaster.

“The captain is in a very difficult position because we are sure enough that he abandoned the ship when many passengers were still waiting to be evacuated,” said prosecutor Francesco Verusio.

A transcript purportedly of conversations between the captain and the coastguard has emerged in the Italian media – apparently drawn from one of the ship’s black box recorders – which appears to corroborate the claims that the captain left the ship before all the passengers escaped.

Capt Francesco Schettino has denied wrongdoing and says the rocks were not on his charts. He has insisted that he and his crew were the last people to leave the vessel.

His lawyer, Bruno Leporatti, said his client was “overcome and wants to express his greatest condolences to the victims”, adding that the captain had carried out a dangerous manoeuvre that had actually saved lives.

Costa Concordia, carrying 4,200 passengers and crew, had its hull ripped through when it hit rocks late on Friday.

Some people were forced to swim for land as the angle of the ship made boarding lifeboats impossible.

German media have reported that 12 German passengers are still missing, and US officials have appealed for information about two Americans – Jerry Heil, 69, and his wife Barbara, 70, from White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

Six Italians, two French couples and a Peruvian are also reported to be unaccounted for.

Teams of specialist divers have been helping with the rescue mission, but they have been hampered by bad weather, which has been moving the ship in the water.

Saturnino Soria, father of Peruvian Erika Soria, who was working as a waitress on the ship, insisted that the search operation should continue.

“I haven’t received any precise information about her – nothing from yesterday or today – it seems the situation has become worse for my daughter,” he said.

Rodolfo Raiteri, head of the coastguard’s diving team, was quoted by news agency AFP as saying that conditions inside the vessel were “disastrous”.

“It’s very difficult. The corridors are cluttered and it’s hard for the divers to swim through,” he said.

But the local mayor voiced hope of finding more people alive.

“You never know in the labyrinth of that ship. An air pocket could have allowed people to survive a few days,” Sergio Ortelli was quoted by AFP as saying.

Meanwhile, the shipping newspaper Lloyd’s List said it had been able to trace the course of the Costa Concordia though information from satellites.

The paper issued a graphic comparing Friday’s sailing with an earlier sailing by the liner, suggesting that Friday’s route had deviated far from its usual course.

Worries are growing that the ship could cause an environmental disaster if it breaks up and sheds its fuel.

Costa Concordia had just left the port of Civitavecchia, north of Rome, carrying roughly 2,300 tons of fuel for a week-long Mediterranean cruise when it crashed.

The area where the ship capsized is a maritime park famous for its pristine waters, varied marine life and coral.

Italian Environment Minister Corrado Clini said there was evidence that liquid was leaking from the ship, but he could not confirm whether the fluid was fuel.

Corrado Clini said the government would declare a state of emergency to release extra funding to help avoid a fuel spill causing an environmental disaster.