Italian prosecutors have officially requested that the captain of the Costa Concordia be tried for manslaughter after the grounding of the cruise liner killed 32 people last year. Prosecutors in Grosseto, Tuscany, have also asked that Francesco Schettino stand trial for causing a shipwreck and abandoning the vessel during the evacuation of passengers and crew.
The prosecutors said the Costa Concordia was conducting a publicity stunt off the coast of tiny Giglio island on the night of 13th January 2012, when it ran into a reef that left a 70-metre-long gash in the hull. The cruise liner quickly took on water and capsized, ending up on its side near the island’s port.
Prosecutors have also requested the indictment of five other crew members, including two officers who were on the bridge that night. The proposed charges against them vary, but all are accused of manslaughter.
The chief prosecutor, Francesco Verusio, said that after a sophisticated scientific and technological investigation, “the determining cause of the events of the shipwreck, deaths and injuries, is, unfortunately, dramatically due to the human factor”.
Prosecutors said Costa Crociere, the Italian company that owns the cruise ship, has asked for a plea bargain agreement which, if accepted, could see Costa pay a €1 million fine. The company has blamed Schettino for the incident.