Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018
GROSSETO

Cruise captain smiles, waves as day three of hearings begin

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Grosseto, October 17 - Captain Francesco Schettino
smiled and joked with photographers on Wednesday on his way to
the third day of hearings into the January sinking of his cruise
ship in which 32 people were killed.
"I'm fine, do not worry," Schettino called to a
photographer shooting his entrance into the hearings in the
Tuscan city of Grosseto.
Surrounded by his lawyers, he wished a friendly "good
morning" to the journalists and crowd gathered outside the court
where hearings began Monday to decide whether to indict
Schettino and others on criminal charges related to the cruise
ship that ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio.
Court heard expert testimony Tuesday that Schettino had
"time and room" to avoid crashing the Costa Concordia into rock
formation.
However, Schettino "failed to react... there was plenty of
space, a huge amount of water and time to approach and take (the
ship) out of danger," testified Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone.
"The manoeuvre after the impact was completely fortuitous
because the ship was (by then) out of control," Dragone told
Judge Valeria Montesarchio, who had asked for clarification on
whether the ship could maneuver or stop at moment of the
accident.
Schettino is under investigation for multiple manslaughter,
abandoning his post before the evacuation of all 4,200
passengers and crew had been completed, and failing to
communicate properly with the maritime authorities.
Schettino's second in command, Ciro Ambrosio, officer
Salvatore Ursino and the head of the Costa Cruises fleet,
Roberto Ferrarini, are also being investigated.
Hearings are scheduled to last about seven days.
Meanwhile, Costa Cruises said on Tuesday that it has
reached compensation deals with 67% of the 3,050 passengers who
did not suffer physical injury in the shipwreck of the Concordia
liner in January.
The compensation packages are thought to average 14,000
euros.
In separate probes, prosecutors Grosseto are reportedly
investigating the alleged theft of items from the wreck of the
Concordia by scuba-diving looters.

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