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Italy prepares for Costa Concordia hearings

6 years ago51 views

reuters

Reuters

The Costa Concordia cruise liner - stranded after it hit a reef off the Italian coast in January.

This amateur footage from inside the vessel shows passengers being urged to stay calm.

(UPSOT OF announcer voice telling them the situation is under control)

But unfortunately the situation was not under control.

At least 25 people lost their lives in the accident with seven still unaccounted for, despite weeks of rescue operations.

Today, pre-trial hearings into the accident, including evidence from the ship's black box recorders, open in this theater in the Italian city of Grosseto.

Prosecutors accuse this man, Captain Francesco Schettino, of causing the disaster by bringing the giant vessel too close to shore .

Schettino is also accused of abandoning ship before the evacuation of more than 4200 passengers and crew was complete.

The ship's first officer and seven officers and executives of the operator Costa Cruises are also under investigation.

Costa's problems don't end there - the company, along with parent company Carnival Corp, face a wave of civil suits from the victims' families and crew members aboard the ship.

And another of Costa's ships - the Allegra - has brought the company into further disrepute.

That liner was left adrift for three days in the Indian Ocean with over 600 passengers after a fire knocked out the vessel's main power supply.

Sunita Rappai