Captain blamed for Italy cruise ship accident

January 17th, 2012 - 12:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, Jan 17 (IANS/AKI) The head of the company that owns the cruise ship involved in a deadly accident off Italy’s Tuscan coast has blamed the captain for the disaster.

“The procedures and strict training and rules that were given were not respected,” said Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman of the Costa Crociere company, at a press conference Monday.

Captain Francesco Schettino is accused of sailing off course, causing the ship with its more than 4,000 passengers to run aground on a reef off Giglio island in western Italy.

At least six people have died in the accident last Friday. About 130 Indians aboard the ship have been saved.

Schettino has been arrested and accused of manslaughter, abandoning the ship and causing the accident.

“It was Captain Schettino’s will and initiative and against our written and certified rules,” Foschi said, adding the company will furnish the jailed Schettino with legal representation.

Foschi said his company was an “injured party” and it was too early to say if the ship could be saved and returned to service.

Italian officials have temporarily called off search and rescue efforts citing weather and concern that the ship might slip off the rocks where it is resting.

India has set up a control room in both New Delhi and in its mission in Italy to help families find out about their relatives who were aboard the luxury liner.


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