Concordia Captain denies collision responsibility


Captain Francesco Schettino has suggested that an electrical blackout was at fault for the sinking of the Costa Concordia.

Captain Schettino is being held on trial at an Italian court in regards to causing the accident which saw the luxury shipping liner collide with rocks as it sailed close to the island of Giglio in January 2012.

The collision resulted in the death of 32 passengers, whilst hundreds of passengers and crew leapt off the sinking vessel fearing for their lives.

Earlier this year, five members of the crew were convicted of multiple charges of manslaughter, negligence and shipwreck, receiving prison sentences varying from 10 to 18 months.

The group included Roberto Ferrarini, the company’s crisis co-ordinator who pleaded guilty to the incident.

Returning to court to provide evidence against Schettino, Ferrarini has suggested that the captain asked him to lie and tell press and authorities that the accident was caused by a power failure – “I said absolutely not.”

Schettino’s legal team are attempting to pin the blame on Ferrarini’s crisis group, saying that the company failed in their duty after power had failed on board and the crash occurred.

If found guilty, Schettino could end up spending up to 20 years in prison – So far he has denied all charges, stating that without his actions many more could have died.

However Schettino’s defence may be on the rocks after a recording made during the incident was played in the Grosseto-based courtroom. Schettino is said to be heard stating that they tell both the media and the port authority that the ship has suffered from a blackout.

The captain is under further scrutiny after being accused of abandoning ship before all passengers and crew were evacuated to safety, however Schettino’s legal team have suggested that he was flung overboard due to the angle of the leaning ship.

Costa Crociere, part of the US-based Carnival Corporation has already agreed to pay a US$1.3 million fine to settle any possible criminal charges against the company.

The majority of the passengers have received about $14,200 in compensation, however many are still holding out for more.

The Costa Concordia still lays wrecked on the coastline, but is expected to towed away and broken up for scrap in June this year.

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