Italy remembers Concordia disaster on 10th anniversary, ANSA
ROME. KAZINFORM Italy is remembering the 32 victims of the Costa Concordia disaster on the 10th anniversary on Thursday with a ceremony on Giglio island.
Former Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino is serving a 16-year sentence for multiple manslaughter in relation to Italy's worst postwar maritime disaster, ANSA reports.
He caused the disaster by sailing the liner too close to the coast of the Tuscan island in a flyby to «salute» people on land.
Schettino was also dubbed captain coward in the media for abandoning the ship before all his passengers were evacuated.
The disaster occurred after the cruise ship carrying 3,216 passengers and 1,013 crew members hit an underwater rock formation off the island's east coast just south of its port at 21:45 on the evening of Friday, January 13, 2012, in a strong impact that opened a hole 70 metres wide on the left side of its hull.
The ship ran aground north of the island's port at Punta Gabbianara, which saved it from sinking 100 metres to the sea floor.
Schettino is the only person to have stood trial for the disaster after a number of crew members and company staff reached plea bargains with prosecutors.
In addition to the 32 people who died in the disaster, a diver also died while working on the ship.
While the disaster shocked the world, the unprecedented operation to set the ship upright so it could be towed away for salvaging in 2014 was widely held as a remarkable feat of engineering.
Giglio Mayor Sergio Ortelli said this year would be the last in which the island holds a public ceremony for the anniversary of the disaster.
«We don't want to forget, but we want to respect the 32 victims,» Ortelli told reporters.
«The city council has decided to mark this day forever, calling it the Day of Memory, because it is our duty with respect to the relatives of the victims of the shipwreck. «
There were people of 54 nationalities on the ship and it is right that they are remembered forever.