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Costa Concordia body count at 13; unregistered passengers may have been on board

Captain says he diverted course for "publicity."

cruise ship costa concordia 1 TuesdayEnlarge
Members of the Guardia di Finanza of Livorno assist in the rescue operation on the cruise ship Costa Concordia as it lies stricken off the shore of the island of Giglio, on January 16, 2012 in Giglio Porto, Italy. (Laura Lezza/AFP/Getty Images)

The latest victim of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster died much like the 12th victim found on Saturday, the USA Today reported.

Both women were found wearing lifejackets near an evacuation area of the cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Italy on Jan. 13.

With a 13th victim found today, previous reports would suggest the missing now numbers 19; however, the discovery comes as reports surfaced saying unregistered passengers may have been on aboard.

"There could have been X persons who we don't know about who were inside, who were clandestine," said Franco Gabrielli, the national civil protection official leading the recovery, USA Today said.

According to CBS News, a Hungarian woman’s relatives approached authorities saying she called them from on board the ship, and she is still missing. That woman’s name didn’t appear on manifests, Gabrielli said.

Victim’s families also met today with Pierluigi Foschi, CEO of the ship’s operator, Costa Crociere.

"He came to see the families, all families,” said Alain Le Roy, the French ambassador to Italy. “He met the French family. He met the American family. I am sure he is meeting other families, mostly to express his compassion ... to say that Costa will do everything possible to find the people, to compensate families in any way."

The ship, carrying 4,200 people, collided with a reef that tore a hole in its hull and forced it on its side. Capt. Francesco Schettino is under house arrest facing charges of manslaughter, abandoning ship and making an un-authorized course change.

More on GlobalPost: Death toll climbs to 12 on doomed cruise ship

Reuters is reporting Schettino took the ship less than a mile from the island of Giglio in a maneuver called a “salute.” He’s saying the cruise ship’s owners told him to make the change, while Costa Cruises lays blame squarely on the captain.

"It was planned, we should have done it a week earlier but it was not possible because of bad weather," Schettino told investigators during a hearing, according to transcripts. "They insisted. They said, ‘We do tourist navigation, we have to be seen, get publicity and greet the island.’”

Photos of similar salutes in Sicily and Naples appeared in Italian newspapers recently, Reuters said.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/italy/120122/costa-concordia-body-count-at-13-unregistered-passengers-m