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Costa Concordia: robots called in to retrieve remaining bodies

Navy and fire department divers have for weeks been scouring the submerged half of the cruise liner but seven bodies, believed to be in inaccessible areas, have yet to be found.

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People look at the stricken cruise liner Costa Concordia lying aground by Giglio island in January, two weeks after the Jan 13 accident. (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Two months after the wreck of the Costa Concordia cruiseliner in the Mediterranean, Italian authorities say they will use “sophisticated robot-like equipment” to aid in the search for the final seven bodies still believed to be aboard, according to The Associated Press.

Twenty-five bodies have been recovered so far, according to the news agency. With more than 4,200 people aboard, the 110,000-ton, 952-foot, 13-deck cruiser attempted a near-shore salute by Giglio Island off the Tuscan coast but ran aground, striking a reef and killing 32 with another 64 injured.

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According to the news agency, the Italian Civil Protection Agency said the robot-like equipment would be used to access the hard-to-reach areas that divers have yet to penetrate in the search for bodies.

The AP said navy and fire department divers had searched for weeks in the boat’s submerged half “dodging floating furniture and rotting debris.”

In an interview with USA Today published this afternoon, Micky Arison, Chairman and CEO of Carnival Corp, which owns the Costa Concordia operator Costa Crociere, said he believed the company could make a comeback.

Another Costa vessel, the Costa Allegra, suffered a fire and power loss in the Indian Ocean on Feb 27, leaving the ship adrift in waters frequented by pirates before it could be towed to the Seychelles.

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"It is damaged. It will take some time [to rebound] but we'd be crazy to abandon such a powerful brand," Arison was quoted as saying.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/italy/120312/costa-concordia-robots-called-retrieve-remaining-bodies