Italian prosecutors have formally requested a manslaughter indictment against Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino following last year’s disaster in which 32 people died.
Prosecutors in Grosseto, Tuscany, are also seeking the trial of Schettino on charges of causing a shipwreck and abandoning the vessel during the frantic and confused evacuation of passengers and crew.
The prosecutors said Costa Concordia was conducting a publicity stunt off the coast of the island of Giglio on the night of January 13 when the ship ran into a jagged reef, which left a 70-metre-long gash in the hull.
The vessel quickly took on water and capsized, ending up on its side near the island’s port.
Prosecutors also requested the indictment of five other crew members, including two officers who were on the bridge that night.
The proposed charges against them vary, but all are accused of manslaughter, according to the Associated Press.
Chief prosecutor Francesco Verusio said that after a sophisticated scientific and technological investigation, “the determining cause of the events of the shipwreck, deaths and injuries, is, unfortunately, dramatically due to the human factor”.
Prosecutors said ship owner Costa Crociere has asked for a plea bargain agreement. If accepted, this could see the Italian line pay a €1 million (£877,000) fine. The company has blamed Schettino for the incident.
Schettino has repeatedly claimed it was his clever steering after the collision that allowed the ship to move closer to the port and help save lives. He has also said the reef was not marked on the ship’s navigational charts.
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