- Reuters/Tony Gentile
Human remains were found on the wrecked Costa Concordia and could possibly be the two missing passengers whose bodies have yet to be found in the wreckage of the ship that struck rocks off Italy's Giglio Island in 2012, a spokesman for the head of Italy's civil protection agency said Thursday.
Divers would attempt to recover the remains, which were found on deck 4 the spokesman said. Investigators stated that the two people who were missing were presumed dead. The bodies of Russel Rebello of India and Maria Grazia Trecarichi of Sicily have been long believed to be either trapped beneath or inside the ship.
The discovery comes a week after engineers were able to set the ship upright, which capsized when it hit rocks in the Tyrrhenian Sea in January 2012, killing 32 of the 4,200 people on board.
Francesco Schettino, the captain of the wrecked Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia, has been in and out of court several times since the incident and has repeatedly stated that he is innocent of the charges of manslaughter brought against him.
Schettino is accused of negligently steering the cruise ship too close to shore while conducting a maneuver known as a "salute" where the cruise liner paralleled the shore and came very close to land.
Schettino took the cruise ship off course with passengers and crewmembers coming close to the Tuscan island of Giglio, where it struck a rock in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The gash on the side of the ship flooded the engine rooms and caused the ship to capsize just hours after it had left port.
Making the case against him worse, Schettino left the ship before everyone was evacuated after it ran ashore and became capsized.
Costa Concordia passengers who survived the wreck as well as victims' loved ones have attended the court hearings and are seeking compensation.
"We want to look him in the eyes and see how he will react to the accusations," one survivor, Michael Liessen of Germany, told Yahoo News.