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January 18th, 2012

Search For Missing On Italian Cruise Liner Wreck Suspended

The search for missing passengers off the Italian coast  amid the wreckage of the Costa Concordia was suspended Wednesday after the ship shifted on the rocks, making the situation too dangerous for rescue workers.

Since the luxury liner crashed into rocks and capsized Friday, 11 people have been confirmed dead, and 23 are still missing. Salvage workers are waiting to begin work on the vessel, including pumping off more than 2,300 tons of fuel, which could take several weeks.

Meanwhile, inquiries into the ship’s captain continued. Captain Francesco Schettino was released from jail and put under house arrest by a judge Tuesday as he awaits trial on allegations of manslaughter and abandoning ship.

The captain has confirmed that he navigated the ship closer to the tiny island of Giglio’s rocky coast to “salute” an old colleague and former Costa Cruises captain.

“The route was decided as we left Civitavecchia but I made a mistake on the approach,” Schettino said. “I was navigating by sight because I knew the depths well and I had done this manoeuvre three or four times. But this time I ordered the turn too late and I ended up in water that was too shallow.”

Schettino, through his lawyer, has denied the criminal allegations.

The maritime law lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  represent crew members and passengers who have been injured on cruise ships.

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