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Italian Rescuers Suspend Search of Wrecked Cruise Ship


A Carabinieri scuba diver inspects the Costa Concordia cruise ship which ran aground off the west coast of Italy at Giglio island January 19, 2012.

A Carabinieri scuba diver inspects the Costa Concordia cruise ship which ran aground off the west coast of Italy at Giglio island January 19, 2012.

Italian rescuers suspended their search Friday for at least 21 people missing for a week after their wrecked cruise ship began shifting off Italy's northwestern coast.

Officials had been worried that bad weather might shake the Costa Concordia, causing the partially-submerged 114,000-ton ship to move off its rocky resting place and slide into deeper water.

Reuters has described the waters around the ship as being choppy with bad weather expected later Friday.

Inclement weather might also delay work to remove thousands of tons of fuel from the ship, an effort to prevent leaks that might cause an environmental disaster along the Tuscan coast.

The vessel, which is owned by U.S.-based Carnival Corporation, ran aground last Friday and flipped on its side.

Official say at least 11 people died in the accident. On Thursday, Italian authorities identified two of the bodies found as French nationals.

Italian Rescuers Suspend Search of Wrecked Cruise Ship

Italian Rescuers Suspend Search of Wrecked Cruise Ship

Carnival said late Thursday it will conduct a comprehensive audit of all ten of its cruise lines to review safety standards and procedures following the Concordia accident.

The world's largest cruise line says it will consult with a panel of emergency response experts to review the circumstances of accident.

The $450 million Costa Concordia cruise ship was carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew when it ran aground.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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    Diaa Bekheet

    Diaa Bekheet has worked for a host of media outlets. He is currently an editor for our main English site, VOAnews.com. @voajazz  facebook.com/jazzclubusa

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