'Unlisted passenger' raises prospect of higher Costa death toll

'Unlisted passenger' raises prospect of higher Costa death toll

Unlisted passengers could have been on board Costa Concordia, raising suggestions that the number of missing in the disaster may be higher than first thought.

Italian authorities raised the possibility that the real number of the missing was unknown because some unregistered passengers may have been on the ship.

Nineteen people have been listed as missing but that number could be higher. The number of people who died in the accident off the Italian island of Giglio has increased to 13 after the body of a woman was discovered yesterday.

“There could have been X [number of] persons who we don't know about who were inside, who were clandestine passengers aboard the ship,” Franco Gabrielli, the national civil protection official in charge of the rescue effort, was reported as saying.

He said relatives of a Hungarian woman told Italian authorities that she had telephoned them from the ship and that they had not heard from her since the accident.

It was possible that a woman's body pulled from the wreckage by divers on Saturday might be that of the unregistered passenger, he said.

But one of Concordia's officers, who is recovering from a broken leg sustained during the evacuation, dismissed the suggestion.

“Everyone is registered and photographed. Everything's electronic,” the Italian news agency ANSA quoted Manrico Giampedroni as saying.


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