Concordia ship captain to face Italian hearing

City A.M. Reporter
THE captain of the stricken Costa Concordia cruise ship will attend pre-trial hearings this week where experts will present analysis of the events that led to the vessel hitting a rock off the Italian coast in January, killing 30 people.

The luxury cruise liner has been sitting half-submerged on the sea floor near the Tuscan island of Giglio since the accident 10 months ago. At least 30 people died during a chaotic night-time evacuation of 4,200 passengers and crew, and another two bodies have still not been recovered.

At least three days of hearings, which consider evidence before a full trial, will be held this week in a theatre in the city of Grosseto, where captain Francesco Schettino faces charges of multiple manslaughter and abandoning ship.

Eight other officers and executives of Costa Cruises, the ship’s owner, are also being investigated for their roles in the accident involving the 114,500-tonne ship.

The Naples-born captain has always acknowledged making mistakes once it became clear that the Costa Concordia was in trouble, but has said he was not the only one who should be blamed for the tragedy.