Divers were able to reach a submerged section of the Costa Concordia on Wednesday and found 8 more bodies. This brings the total number of deaths to 25. Among the 8 bodies found was likely a 5 year old girl from Italy who had been missing. The girl, Dayana Arlotti, is on the missing list along with her father.
There are still 7 more passengers/crew members missing from the January 13, 2012 accident. They include Barbara and Gerald Heil from Minnesota, Dayana’s father, 3 passengers from France and Germany, and 1 crew member from India.
The divers were able to search deck 4 of the ship for the first time. A spokeswoman from the civil protection agency said, “Because of closed doors it was hard to get to, and the water sealed inside the area was unsafe for divers in normal wetsuits and masks because of the chemicals, food and other remains trapped.”
Divers were able to search the 4th deck with sealed diving suits and helmets. Several passengers suggested that there may have been bodies there. They plan on searching the 3rd deck next to see if they can recover any others who may have perished during the accident.
Authorities removed 4 of the bodies so they could be taken to a local hospital for identification. The remaining 4 will be removed from the ship on Thursday. Divers were able to search the ship even with the rough seas that workers have been plagued with since the search began.
The rough seas did halt the removing of the fuel from the vessel. So far, workers have been able to remove 67% of the fuel on the ship as they work to avoid an environmental nightmare.
Passengers that were on board the ship at the time of the accident continue to prepare a legal case against the cruise line. The captain, Francesco Schettino, has been under investigation since the disaster and investigators have added 7 more crew members to their analysis.
A theatre in Crosseto, Italy has been rented out on March 3 so a preliminary hearing could take place with passengers attending. A court official stated that they had no idea how many passengers would show up. Under Italian law, injured parties are allowed to be present to nominate their own experts to follow the tests of the Costa Concordia’s black box.
The Costa Concordia was carrying over 4,200 passengers and crew members when the ship hit a reef off the coast of Italy. The captain was attempting to do a “salute” to impress the tourists that were on the beach. The ship was off course and hit the reef that the captain said was not on his charts. He is currently under investigation for abandoning ship and manslaughter.
Cruise Fever will continue to bring you the latest updates and news as more information becomes available.