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Costa Concordia Ship Captain Placed under House Arrest.

ROMA (CyHAN)- An Italian court on Tuesday put under house arrest the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that had crashed into rocks last week, the BBC reported.

According to prosecutors, Francesco Schettino was to blame for the crash and also fled the vessel when passengers were still stranded - a version apparently backed by a recorded conversation between Schettino and a port official. But the captain has flatly rejected the accusations.

The Costa Concordia, carrying 4,200 passengers, capsized after hitting rocks off the coast of Isola del Giglio on Friday night. Eleven bodies have been recovered, and a search for 24 missing people is underway.

Captain Schettino, 52, claimed that the ship hit a rock formation that had not appeared on nautical charts and had not been picked up by the ship's navigation systems.

However, Italy's Corriere della Sera daily said on Monday the captain steered the Costa Concordia toward the island to please the vessel's head waiter, who comes from Giglio.

Schettino is suspected of multiple manslaughter and abandoning a ship in distress and faces up to 15 years in prison, Prosecutor Francesco Verusio said.

Italian media published a transcript of a telephone conversation between Coast Guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco and Schettino, in which the latter was repeatedly ordered to "go back on board" the ship in distress.

However, it is unclear from the record whether the captain returned to the crippled ship or not. (Cihan/Ria Novosti)

CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Sep 7, 2012
Words:259
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