Sat July 20, 2013
Five Convicted In Deadly Costa Concordia Shipwreck
A court in Italy has convicted five people on charges of manslaughter and negligence for the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia off Tuscany last year that left 32 passengers and crew dead.
The court at Grosseto, the city nearest the spot where the Costa Concordia ran aground in January 2012, accepted plea bargains for the cruise ship's helmsman, cabin service director, two bridge officers and the head of the company's crisis team.
The sentences handed down by the court:
-- Director of the crisis unit, Roberto Ferrarini: 2 years, 10 months
-- Cabin Service Director Manrico Giampedroni: 2 1/2 years
-- First Officer Ciro Ambrosio: 1 year, 11 months
-- Helmsman Jacob Rusli Bin: 1 year, 8 months
-- Third Officer Silvia Coronica: 1 1/2 years
The trial of Captain Francesco Schettino, accused of multiple counts of manslaughter and of abandoning the vessel with thousands still aboard, has been adjourned until late September as the court awaits electrical tests of the ship. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
The ship hit a rock and capsized after Schettino diverted it from its planned route, steaming past the island of Giglio at night as a salute to the people of the tiny Tuscan island.
Sky News says Schettino's defense claims that:
"... no one died in the collision itself, but that the failure of a backup generator and supposedly water-tight compartments that were flooded created problems during the evacuation, when the deaths occurred."
More than 4,000 passengers were aboard the cruise ship when it capsized.