Tuesday 21 November 2017

Tragic girl (5) was turned away from Concordia lifeboat

Nick Squires Rome

A five-year-old girl was unable to find a place on a lifeboat on the Costa Concordia, it has emerged as compelling details of the last moments of the victims were disclosed in a 60-page dossier deposited in an Italian court.

Thirty-two people died in the disaster when the 950ft cruise liner hit rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio on the night of January 13, 2012.

The dossier, presented to judges by prosecutors in Grosseto, Tuscany, recounts the confusion and chaos that engulfed more than 4,000 passengers and crew as seawater flooded into a massive gash in the hull, causing the ship to list and finally roll in shallow water.

Prosecutors are calling for the Concordia's captain, Francesco Schettino, to be sent to trial on charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship.

The file pieces together the final hours of victims including Dayana Arlotti, at five the youngest on board to die, and her father William Arlotti.

They drowned because "having not found places in a lifeboat on deck four on the port side, they were directed by members of the crew to the starboard side and while negotiating the interior of the ship they fell into an abyss which was created as the starboard side of the ship overturned".

Distracted

Many of the victims died because they did not have life jackets and were then sucked below the waves as the listing ship churned up hugely powerful underwater forces.

Prosecutors claim that Captain Schettino was distracted before the collision by the presence on the bridge of Domnica Cemortan, a former dancer.

A judge is expected to announce in the next few weeks that Captain Schettino and several officers, as well as members of parent company Costa Cruises, will be put on trial. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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