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In Italy, attention shifts to other figures in the Costa Concordia evacuation

In Italy, attention shifts to other figures in the Costa Concordia evacuation

As a magistrate released Costa Crociere captain Francesco Schettino from prison, consigning him to house arrest in his hometown of Meta di Sorrento – to the surprise of the police since it implies that his arrest was unwarranted - attention in Italy began to focus on other figures in the disaster, and what other charges might yet be brought.

Significantly, questions remain over the contacts between Schettino, who currently faces charges of manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship, and Roberto Ferrarini, head of the shipping operations department at Costa Crociere, after Costa Concordia hit the rocks off Giglio at 9:42 p.m. on Friday.

Company chief executive Pier Luigi Foschi conceded in a Monday press conference in Genoa that Schettino first called Ferrarini shortly after, at 10:05 p.m. or 10:06 p.m., and that they subsequently had several conversations. And yet evacuation procedures did not begin until almost an hour later, at 10:58 p.m. The authorities will want to know the sequence of events over that period, and why it took so long for the evacuation to begin.

Similarly, attention is also beginning to focus on Schettino’s No. 2, Dimitri Christidis, and third officer Silvia Coronica, both of whom, reports suggest, were in the lifeboat with their captain as coast guard officials ordered him to return to his ship to supervise the evacuation.

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