ROME, April 15 (UPI) -- Italy’s environment minister pledged to have the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship removed “as soon as possible” from the island where it sank in 2012, killing 32 people.
Gian Luca Galetti said the ship, now upright and moored off the island if Giglio, will be removed “as soon as possible to protect the environment and also the summer tourist season.”
The ship was grounded after striking rocks in the water, and its partially-submerged hull was turned upright in September.
In Grosetto, the trial of ship captain Francesco Schettino continued Tuesday with the ship’s former hotel director, Manrico Giampedroni, testifying that Schettino failed to contact him during the shipwreck, even though Giamopedroni had responsibility for supervising the evacuation of passengers.
Schettino is charged with multiple manslaughter and dereliction of duty, and allegedly abandoned the ship before the evacuation was complete.
Monday the court was told that Schettino suggested blame for the accident should be placed on a power outage aboard the vessel.
“Schettino proposed I tell authorities a blackout caused the collision,” Robert Ferrarini, leader of a crisis unit established to handle the incident, testified.