Italian Cruise Ship Death Toll

January 27, 2012 by staff 

Italian Cruise Ship Death Toll, Some 3000 survivors of Italy’s cruise ship disaster will receive 11,000 ($A13,624) each plus expenses, negotiators said on Friday two weeks after the accident which is feared to have killed up to 32 people.

Navy divers blew new holes in the side of the beached vessel on Friday to search previously unexplored parts of the ship for missing people, though officials said there was now no chance of finding survivors.

The known death toll is 16, with another 16 people still missing.

While relatives of those lost waited for news of their loved ones, Dutch company Smit Salvage said it could begin pumping 2380 tonnes of fuel out of the vessel later in the day instead of on Saturday as previously planned.

Smit and Italian company Neri attached valves to six of the Costa Concordia’s 23 fuel tanks in a first phase to syphon off around half the ship’s oil, amid fears that a spill would be environmentally disastrous.

Salvage workers will carry out a so-called “hot-tapping” operation, which involves pumping the fuel out and replacing it with water so as not to affect the ship’s balance and stop it from slipping into the open sea.

The whole process is expected to take weeks.

Passengers of the stricken cruise liner learnt they will get at least 11,000 euros each from its Costa Crociere operator under a deal struck after the January 13 disaster.

“This deal concerns some 3000 passengers from 60 countries, including some 900 Italians,” Adoc, one of several consumer advocacy groups that negotiated the agreement, said.

The group said it thought about 85 per cent of them would agree to the deal, and that even children who were travelling for free would get 11,000 euros each.

Passengers will also be reimbursed for the cost of the cruise, estimated at some 3000 euros each, as well as any travel and medical expenses. The agreement does not concern those who were injured or lost loved ones, it said.

“It’s a landmark agreement to bring an end to a tragic affair,” said Adoc president Carlo Pileri. “It’s a democratic agreement that does not distinguish between social classes or countries of origin.”

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