Costa Concordia Shipwreck: DNA Testing Begins Following Discovery Of Remains

Costa Concordia ShipwreckThe Costa Concordia cruise liner was hauled upright last week and the complicated 19-hour salvage operation led to the discovery of at least two bodies.

Divers recovered the bodies of two victims and what they believe to be more human remains from the tragic accident.

The Costa Concordia capsized on January 13, 2012 when it moved too close to land, struck a group of large rocks, and flipped over. 32 people were killed aboard the ship.

Speaking to reporters this week the head of the civil protection agency, Franco Gabrielli, revealed:

“Other remains have also been found and are currently undergoing DNA tests… We are waiting for the results of the analysis.”

Gabrielli said the other found remains are “absolutely consistent” with the two missing people.

Gabrielli said it was almost a miracle that they could pull two bodies from behind a 114,500 tonne vessel after 20 months of submersion.

Next up will be the long and arduous duty of towing the ship away from Mediterranean holiday island. Eventually the ship will be broken up and turned into scrap. The Costa Concordia shipwreck is expected to be moved in Spring 2013.

Concordia Captain Francesco Schettino in the meantime has been charged with various offenses including manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship.

A current investigation is not focused on Schettino, but rather on the ships ability to function during an accident. Investigators are looking at the ship’s watertight doors and other components. Some areas will only be investigated when they can be fully secured.

Last year Costa Cruises, owned by the American-based Carnival Corp, paid a $1.35 million fine. That payment helped the company avoid any time inside a courtroom.

A civil lawsuit against the Costa Concordia shipwreck has already been filed.