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article imageCosta Concordia captain blamed for tragedy by panel of experts

By Marcus Hondro     Sep 20, 2012 in World
Rome - A panel of 4 marine experts appointed by a court in Italy have come to the conclusion the greatest fault for the Jan. 13 tragedy that took the lives of 32 passengers and crew lies with the captain, Francesco Schettino. The ruling is not a surprise.
The panel compiled 270 pages of analysis of the disaster and after presenting it to the court in Grosseto, it was published late last week in Rome by the daily newspaper La Repubblica, and has since been published by other papers in the country. In part the analysis is intended to discover who, besides Schettino, was to blame for the sinking of the ship.
While the captain is the one who, the analysis found, ordered the ship in too close to the shore of the island of Giglio in the Tuscan Bay (doing so to impress a friend) and whose reluctance to sound the abandon ship compounded the disaster, the report says other officers share part of the blame for the chaos that ensued. There are eight others currently being investigated - one is the company's crisis co-coordinator - but to date Schettino is the only one charged.
Captain Schettino faces multiple charges
He's charged with manslaughter, with causing the accident and with abandoning his ship before all passengers had been evacuated; he awaits trail at his home near Naples. A hearing is set to being next month. The ship itself still remains listed over and partially sank 300 metres from the shore of the island and an American company, Titan Salvage, is leading the operation to refloat it and tow it away for scrapping at an as yet undetermined port.
Two of the bodies have yet to be recovered.
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