Italy IDs 4 more cruise ship victims

Italian authorities identify 4 more victims pulled from grounded cruise ship

Associated Press
Seafarers outraged that captain jumped ship

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In this photo taken on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, and made available Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012, Francesco Schettino, right, the captain of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, which ran aground Friday off the tiny Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, is taken into custody by Carabinieri in Porto Santo Stefano, Italy. Schettino, released on Tuesday, and currently under house arrest in his hometown of Meta di Sorrento, southern Italy, is being investigated for possible manslaughter charges and abandoning the ship. (AP Photo/Giacomo Aprili)

ROME (AP) -- Italian authorities have released the identities of four victims who perished when the Costa Concordia cruise ship ran into rocks off the Tuscan coast.

The four — two more French, an Italian and a Peruvian — were among those recovered in the first hours after the disaster Friday night.

Civil Protection authorities on Thursday identified them as Thomas Alberto Costilla Mendoza, a crew member from Peru, Giovanni Masia, a passenger from Italy, and French passengers Francis Servil, 71, and Jean-Pierre Micheaud, 61.

The news agency ANSA said Masia, who would have turned 86 next week, was buried in Sardenia on Thursday.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

ROME (AP) -- Divers restarted the search Thursday for 21 people still missing after a cruise ship crashed into the rocky Tuscan coast, but a forecast of rough seas added uncertainty to the operation and to plans to begin pumping fuel from the stranded vessel.

Separately, a new audiotape emerged of the first contact between port officials and the Costa Concordia cruise ship in which the captain insists there has only been a blackout on board. The recording was time-stamped at 10:12 p.m. Friday, more than 30 minutes after the ship hit a reef and panicked passengers had fled to get their lifejackets.

The $450 million Costa Concordia was carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew when it slammed into well-marked rocks off the island of Giglio after the captain made an unauthorized diversion Friday from his programmed route. The ship then keeled over on its side.

Eleven people have been confirmed dead, their bodies removed from the ship and frigid waters.

On Thursday, the bodies of three more dead were identified: the Grossetto prefect's office confirmed that French passengers Jeanne Gannard and Pierre Gregoire were among the dead, while Spain's foreign ministry said Guillermo Gual, 68, of Mallorca, had also died.

Divers were focusing on an evacuation route on the fourth level, now about 60 feet (18 meters) below the water's surface, where five bodies were found earlier this week, Navy spokesman Alessandro Busonero told Sky TG 24.

Crews set off small explosions in the ship's hull earlier this week to blow holes into hard-to-reach areas for easier access by divers. Officials restarted the search after determining the ship had stabilized after shifting on the rocks Wednesday.

"Today is an important day, the weather forecasts are negative, rough sea, we'll have to see how the ship reacts to that," firefighter spokesman Luca Cari said Thursday.

The ship's sudden movement also postponed the start of the weekslong operation to extract the half-million gallons of fuel on board the vessel.

Italy's environment minister has warned of the ecological implications if the ship sinks or the fuel leaks, since the area is close to a marine sanctuary for whales, dolphins and porpoises.


Barry reported from Milan.


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