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Captain 'blamed' for capsized cruise liner.

Summary: The company operating the Costa Concordia, which ran aground off the Tuscan coast, has said mistakes made by the ship's captain may have caused the disaster.

The company operating the Costa Concordia, which ran aground off the Tuscan coast, has said mistakes made by the ship's captain may have caused the disaster.

The cruise liner capsized on Friday night after rocks ripped a 160ft gash in the ship's hull, sparking a frantic evacuation operation. Five people died and 15 are still missing.

Preliminary investigations carried out by Costa Crociere suggest Captain Francesco Schettino may be guilty of "significant human error".

In a statement issued on Sunday, bosses said: "We are working with investigators to find out precisely what went wrong aboard the Costa Concordia.

"While the investigation is ongoing, preliminary indications are that there may have been significant human error on the part of the ship's Master, Captain Francesco Schettino, which resulted in these grave consequences.

"The route of the vessel appears to have been too close to the shore, and the captain's judgement in handling the emergency appears to have not followed standard Costa procedures."

Frogmen continue to scour submerged parts of the luxury vessel as the search goes on for passengers and crew who are yet to be accounted for.

On Sunday two elderly holidaymakers were found dead near the liner's sunken restaurant.

Chairman and chief executive of Costa Crociere, Pier Luigi Foschi, faces the media on Monday for the first time, meanwhile Italian prosecutors continue to question Captain Schettino who is reportedly being held on suspicion of multiple manslaughter and abandoning ship.

Schettino has commanded the ship since it was built in 2006, he told told Italian television reporters he was not to blame, claiming nautical charts did not show the rocks off the tiny island of Giglio.

The Government has confirmed all 23 British passengers and 12 crew members on board are safe and well, with some survivors already returning home. Many have given harrowing accounts of what happened, revealing they thought they would die.

Mandy Rodford, 45, who was celebrating her fourth wedding anniversary on the luxury liner with husband John, 46, said she thought her "life was over".

Independent Television News Limited 2011. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2012. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Jan 16, 2012
Words:389
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