Costa Concordia search discovers female body

by Tiffany Millar on January 23, 2012

The body of a female has been discovered on board Costa Concordia, the Italian cruise ship which ran aground then capsized a week ago.

The discovery brings the known death toll up to 12. The woman, donning a life jacket when she died, was found by deep sea divers on the Costa Concordia’s fourth deck. Twenty people remain missing after the ship, which had 4,200 people on board, hit a rock that was in shallow waters off Tuscany’s Giglio island on Friday 13 January.

The captain is currently being investigated in Italy for manslaughter charges, which he has denied. An unnamed police official told the media that the woman’s corpse was found at roughly 13:30 local time before then being taken to the mainland and that the authorities will have to use DNA testing to identify the victim due to her having spent a week in the sea.

Coastguard and navy divers continued their search over the weekend, blasting their way into areas of the vessel that were submerged by using explosives in what was an attempt to to find those still yet unaccounted for. On Friday though, the search had to be suspended after the Concordia shifted.

Coast Guard representative Cosimo Nicastro said that the body was discovered during a remarkably risky search of the ship’s evacuation meeting point, close to the rear. According to Nicastro, divers’ lines risked snagging as they made their way down a narrow corridor full of objects.

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