Court-appointed experts have put the majority of the blame for the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster on Captain Francesco Schettino and the Costa Crociere company, according to a new report.
The report, which was leaked to the Italian press and published in part by the daily newspaper La Repubblica on Thursday, said neither Schettino nor the Italian company reacted promptly to the emergency. The confidential 270-page document was compiled by two captains and two engineers as part of the court investigation into the disaster.
According to La Repubblica, the report says that Costa Crociere should have immediately urged Schettino to evacuate the ship, possibly saving more lives in the process.
Nine people are under investigation for the wreck, which claimed 32 lives when the cruise ship ran aground and capsized off the coast of the Italian island of Giglio in January. Schettino and three Costa executives are among those facing charges.
One of the executives is crisis coordinator Roberto Ferrarini, who the report said "did not appear to have a real pulse of the conditions on the ship."
Schettino is also accused of leaving the ship while hundreds of passengers were still in need of evacuation
"Ferrarini should have promptly suggested to the captain that the ship's stability had been compromised and that he should proceed with the order to abandon ship," the report added.
The report also pointed to problems with the crew, who may not have had proper emergency training, in addition to a language barrier between Schettino and his Indonesian helmsman.
Schettino takes a heavy share of the blame in the report for performing a risky maneuver so close to Giglio, and then delaying the order to abandon ship until more than an hour after the crash. He is set to stand trial for manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship.
dr/mz (AFP, dpa, AP)