Costa Concordia captain feels grief 2 years after crash

Jan. 13, 2014 at 1:21 PM

GROSSETO, Italy, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- The former captain of the ill-fated Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia said the second anniversary of the fatal crash Monday caused him grief and pain.

Thirty-two people died when the liner was shipwrecked after crashing against a rock formation on the Tuscan island of Giglio on Jan. 13, 2012

Francesco Schettino, the Costa Concordia captain, is on trial in Grosseto for multiple manslaughter and dereliction of duty. Thirty shipwreck survivors conducted a sit-in at Schettino's trial hearing Monday, ANSA reported.

The court observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims at the request or survivors.

A lawyer for the protesters said they are calling for greater accountability for Costa Cruises, the ship's owner, and said the company had more responsibility than Schettino for the disaster.

"The responsibility is not only of Captain Francesco Schettino, who is already (indicted), but also of Costa Cruises, which has a far greater responsibility," said a lawyer with the sit-in attendees, Massimiliano Gabrielli.

Schettino is the only person standing criminal trial. Italian prosecutors in May reached plea deals with five other officials, including four ship's officers and the crisis coordinator of the vessel's owners, Costa Cruises.

On Monday, Schettino said the crash still caused him "deep grief" and left "indelible pain for all of us."

After the minute of silence, the hearing was postponed to Jan. 27 because of a national criminal lawyers' strike.

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