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September 26, 2013

Divers Find Human Remains on Site of Italy Cruise Ship Wreck

by Reuters

Divers on Thursday recovered what they believe could be the remains of the last two missing bodies from the sea where the Costa Concordia cruise liner sank last year off the Italian island of Giglio.

The huge ship was carrying more than 4,000 passengers and crew when it capsized after striking rocks on January 13, 2012, killing 32 people, including two whose bodies were not recovered.

The head of the civil protection agency, Franco Gabrielli, told reporters the remains discovered on Thursday were “absolutely consistent” with the two missing people - an Indian man and an Italian woman.

However, their identities could be confirmed only after DNA testing, he said.

After lying on its side in shallow water ever since capsizing, the Costa Concordia was hauled upright last week in a complicated 19-hour salvage operation.

Recovering the human remains after 20 months under the weight of the 114,500 ton vessel was “almost a miracle,” said Gabrielli. A spokeswmoman for the civil protection agency said all that was left of the bodies were bone fragments.

The ship is due to be towed away from the Mediterranean holiday island, probably by next spring, and eventually broken up into scrap.