Costa Concordia Update: Captain Francesco Schettino on Trial

By Accidents

The sunken Italian cruise vessel Costa Concordia lies on its side and half-submerged off the tiny Tuscan Island of Giglio, blighting the seascape for another summer in an otherwise pristine part of the Mediterranean.

Eighteen months after the hulking Costa Concordia cruise vessel ran aground, it is a daily reminder of the slow progress Italian officials have made handling the aftermath. The remains of 2 of the 32 victims have yet to be found. The timetable to salvage of the sunken Costa Concordia has stretched on. Only now is anyone facing trial for the terrible accident - and even that process is being expected to be instantly delayed.

Though court-appointed professionals concluded that the crew members and owner Costa Crociere SpA, a unit of Carnival Corporation, which is based in Miami, committed blunders and safety breaches, which contributed to the disaster off the island's rocky coast, only the captain of Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino has been ordered to stand trial.

The trial against captain Schettino was scheduled to start on Tuesday in Grosseto, Italy. The Francesco Schettino could face up to twenty years in jail if he is convicted of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the Costa Concordia before all of the 4,200 passengers and crew members were safely evacuated. Prosecutors contend that on the night of 13th of January, 2012, Capt. Francesco Schettino steered Costa Concordia cruise ship too close to the island's coastline in a publicity stunt for Costa Crociere and accidentally rammed the jagged reef. Costa Crociere denies that scenario.

Survivors after the deadly accident with Costa Concordia described a chaotic and delayed evacuation, with crew members allegedly downplaying the seriousness of the deadly accident that caused a gash 70 meters (230-feet) long in the Costa Concordia's side and let seawater rush into the cruise vessel.