Woman’s Body Found in Italian Cruise Ship, 20 Still Missing
(GIGLIO, Italy) — Divers in Italy found the body of a woman on Saturday in the wreckage of cruise liner that hit the rocks near the Tuscan coast last week.
The discovery brings the total death toll from the Costa Concordia tragedy to 12. Twenty people are still reported missing, including a Minnesota couple.
“We still have hope. We have hope for anything that will come. Whatever God’s plan is, we’re at peace with that,” Aaron Heil, the son of Jerry and Barbara Heil, told Good Morning America earlier this week.
The Heils are the only Americans who are still unaccounted for among the 4,200 passengers that were onboard the liner when it crashed.
On Saturday, searchers also recovered a hard disc that contains the recordings of all the cameras on board the ship, which could provide clues as to what happened that night, and who was with the captain on the bridge.
Capt. Francesco Schettino, who is under house arrest, could face criminal charges, including manslaughter and abandoning ship.
Schettino claimed he tripped into the lifeboat and never meant to abandon the sinking ship. He told investigators earlier that his actions after the crash were competent and saved lives.
The CEO of the cruise line said that because Schettino did not tell them exactly what was going on in those fateful minutes after the crash, they did not send the proper response.
The ship’s chaplain said Schettino cried in his arms for 15 minutes after reaching the safety of shore.
“At around 2:30 a.m. I spoke to the captain,” chaplain Raffaele Malena told the French magazine “Famille Chretienne.” He was referring to last Friday night when Costa Concordia ran aground.
“He embraced me and cried like a child for about a quarter of an hour,” Malena told the magazine.
As for the mysterious Moldovan woman, who some claimed the captain was entertaining at the time of the accident, she told a British newspaper that the captain was showing her photos of his daughter.
She claims he did nothing wrong and actually saved lives.
Coast guard officials said divers will continue their search of the submerged section of the ship while plans are under way to empty the fuel tanks.
There are fears that if the Concordia slips further, the tanks could rupture and cause an ecological disaster.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio