Costa Concordia: Divers Find Human Remains

1 / 2
Costa Concordia: Divers Find Human Remains

Divers have found human remains in the sea where the Costa Concordia cruise liner sank last year off the Italian island of Giglio.

The huge ship was carrying more than 4,000 holidaymakers and crew when it capsized after striking rocks, killing 32 people, including two whose bodies were not recovered.

The remains were "absolutely consistent" with the two missing people, an Indian man and an Italian woman, said Franco Gabrielli, the head of the government agency overseeing the vessel's salvage.

However, their identities can only be definitively confirmed only after DNA testing, he added.

Relatives of the two victims have been notified of the discovery, Mr Gabrielli said.

Recovering the submerged bodies after 20 months under the weight of the 114,500-ton vessel was "almost a miracle," he added.

The side of the ship where the remains were found is badly smashed in after lying submerged since it capsized in January 2012.

Specialised police divers would remove the remains, which will be examined by forensic experts on the mainland in Tuscany.

DNA testing could take a few days, authorities said.

Experts also plan to go inside the ship to retrieve some of the Concordia's computers, so they can try to determine why backup generators and other equipment failed to work immediately after the collision.

The  Costa Concordia was hauled upright last week in a complicated 19-hour salvage operation.

The ship is due to be towed away from the Mediterranean holiday island, probably by next spring, and eventually broken up for scrap.

The Concordia's captain, Francesco Schettino, is on trial for alleged manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship during a confused and delayed evacuation.