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Italy captain under investigation in port crash

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

Rescue personnel stand on rubble next to a tilted staircase, part of a control tower which collapsed after a cargo ship slammed into it during a shift change Tuesday night in the port of Genoa, northern Italy, killing at least three people, Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Four others were hospitalized and a half-dozen people remained unaccounted for, including some feared trapped inside the submerged elevator of the control tower, officials said. By Wednesday morning, all that was left of the control tower was the mangled exterior staircase, tilted to its side. The tower itself, which was located on the very edge of a dock jutting out into the harbor, was either in the water or in a heap of wreckage on the dock. (AP Photo/Francesco Pecoraro)

ROME (AP) -- Prosecutors in Genoa have placed the captain of the Jolly Nero cargo ship under investigation for alleged manslaughter after the vessel slammed into the dock at the busy port and toppled the control tower into the harbor, killing at least seven people.

Prosecutor Michele de Lecce said Wednesday the harbor pilot on the ship's bridge at the time of the crash was also placed under investigation.

Such investigations are par for the course in Italy.

Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi told Parliament that given the "perfect" weather conditions Tuesday night, possible causes of the crash could include an engine malfunction or problems with the cables between the container ship and the tugs guiding it.

He said investigators were also looking into possible mistakes with the maneuver itself.