18 Jan '12, 12am

Captain of Italian cruise liner denies abandoning ship; death toll from disaster rises to 11

Captain of Italian cruise liner denies abandoning ship; death toll from disaster rises to 11

Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that run aground the tiny Island of Giglio last Friday, leaves the Grosseto court, Italy, Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012. -- PHOTO: AP GIGLIO ISLAND, Italy (AFP) - The captain of the doomed Italian cruise liner on Tuesday denied he had abandoned ship, as rescue divers found another five bodies in the wreckage, bringing the death toll to 11. A dramatic port authority recording of a telephone exchange as the disaster unfolded showed that captain Francesco Schettino ignored an order to return to the vessel after it hit rocks and pitched onto its side on Friday. Schettino, 52, is accused of manslaughter and abandoning ship before all the passengers were rescued. But under lengthy questioning on Tuesday by Italian prosecutors, Schettino denied he had left the Costa Concordia and said his actions as the boat was going do...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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