Sunday, January 22, 2012

Concordia death toll up to 12 after divers find woman's body... as claims emerged Casanova captain's 'dining companion' was on the first lifeboat

Divers have found a woman's body in a submerged section of the grounded Costa Concordia, raising the death toll in the cruise liner tragedy to at least 12.

The body, which had a life jacket on, was found in a narrow corridor near an evacuation staging point at the rear of the ship, Italian Coast Guard Commander Cosimo Nicastro said.

The latest find came as divers resumed there search for those still missing. There are 20 passengers now unaccounted for.

And it comes amid claims that the Moldovan dancer seen dining with the captain of the Costa Concordia on the night it foundered was on the first lifeboat off the cruise ship.

Domnica Cemortan may have been warned that the ship was going down long before the call to abandon ship, said Alexander Banescu, a fitness instructor who had been working on the liner for four months.

The 25-year-old had all her belongings with her as others left with nothing, Mr Banescu told The Times.

‘I heard that she was on the bridge when it happened,’ he told the paper. ‘I think she was on the first boat off. The crew members all left the ship with nothing. She was wearing warm clothes and had her bag packed. She had everything — her documents, her money. How could she have known?’ Read More