The search for survivors on board the capsized cruise ship Costa Concordia has been suspended following movement of the vessel, according to reports.
The ship ran aground off the coast of Italy on Friday night, tearing a 70-metre hole in the hull and causing it to tip onto its side. There are reportedly still 16 people missing.
Reports said that the search operation has been temporarily abandoned due to bad weather and rough seas.
Fire department spokesman Luca Cari said: “There was a slippage of nine centimetres vertically and 1.5 centimetres horizontally. We evacuated immediately. This is something we have been worried about.
“Operations are suspended. We will have to monitor the stability of the ship and we don’t know when we will resume operations.”
An investigation into the disaster is underway after Costa Concordia, which carried more than 4,200 passengers and crew, ran aground in calm conditions on the first night of a Mediterranean cruise from the port of Rome.
Costa said last night: “We are working with investigators to find out precisely what went wrong aboard the Costa Concordia.
“While the investigation is ongoing, preliminary indications are that there may have been significant human error on the part of the ship’s Master, Captain Francesco Schettino, which resulted in these grave consequences.
The Costa Concordia tragedy is expected to cost parent company Carnival Corporation at least $95 million.
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