Connect to share and comment
The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground due to "human error," the liner's owner said today. Police are questioning the ship's captain.
The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground because of "human error," the liner's owner said today.
Captain Francesco Schettino is in police custody, accused of manslaughter and abandoning ship. He denies wrongdoing and insists he followed procedure.
More from GlobalPost: Cruise ship runs aground off Italy (VIDEO)
However, the company that owns the Concordia, Costa Cruises, believes Schettino made an "unapproved, unauthorized" maneuver that took the ship off course, chief executive Pier Luigi Foschi told a press conference today. The BBC cited him as saying:
"The company will be close to the captain and will provide him with all the necessary assistance, but we need to acknowledge the facts and we cannot deny human error."
Costa has already accused Schettino of sailing too close to the coast and failing to follow emergency procedures, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Italian prosecutors said the Concordia may have sailed just 150 yards from shore, in what Italian media reports have speculated was a detour to give passengers and crew a close-up view of the port of Giglio. Schettino initially claimed the ship had struck a rock that was not marked on nautical charts – but officials believe it ran into a well-known reef, Le Scole.
Costa considers itself an "injured party," Foschi said. Costa's parent company, Carnival Corp., estimates the incident will cost it at least $95 million, the New York Times reported, while analysts told Reuters the incident would have significant long-term consequences for the cruise industry as a whole.
Another body was recovered this morning, bringing the confirmed death toll from the disaster to six. Around 15 people are still missing.
The rescue operation was halted this afternoon by rough seas which are causing the ship to shift, the Associated Press reported. Environmental officials are concerned that any violent movement could trigger a fuel leak that would see around 500,000 gallons of fuel oil spilled into the sea.
More from GlobalPost: Bodies recovered from Costa Concordia (VIDEO)
Here's a video of an official analysis of the maritime disaster: