Officials: 29 People Missing From Italian Ship - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Officials: 29 People Missing From Italian Ship

Picture From MSNBC Picture From MSNBC

ROME (AP) - Italian coast guard officials say the number of people missing from the shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner has risen to 29.

A top coast guard official, Marco Brusco, said on state TV that 25 passengers and four crew members are unaccounted for three days after the ship crashed into a reef off the Tuscan coast and capsized. Earlier in the day that number stood at 16.

Brusco didn't immediately explain the rise. But at least three Italian families have said that even though their loved ones have been listed among those safely evacuated,
they hadn't heard any word from their relatives.

Brusco indicated about 10 Germans were among the 29 missing. He says he holds a "glimmer of hope" that some of the missing might have survived.

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Story updated 3:43 p.m. ET: The captain of the luxury cruise ship that capsized after hitting rocks off Italy had sailed perilously close to the coast to "make a bow" to people on a Tuscan island, according to media reports.

Francesco Schettino made the dangerous maneuver so that the Costa Concordia's head waiter could salute his family on land, according to reports.

Schettino denies charges of manslaughter and his lawyer has said his actions had saved many lives.

The father of the ship's head waiter told Reuters that his son had telephoned him before the accident to say the crew would salute him by blowing the ship's whistle as they passed by the island of Giglio, where both the waiter, Antonello Tievoli, and his 82-year-old father Giuseppe live.

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"The ship obviously came too close," the elder Tievoli said, according to Reuters.

"I don't know if Antonello asked the captain to come near, but the responsibility is always the captain's."

Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper quoted witnesses as saying that shortly before the accident, the captain called the head waiter to the bridge saying, "Antonello, come see, we are very close to your Giglio."

Schettino was detained on Saturday. He is accused of manslaughter and abandoning his ship before all those on board were evacuated. Prosecutors say he also refused to go back on board when requested by the coast guard.

Shortly before the ship hit the rocks, the waiter's sister, Patrizia Tievoli, had posted on Facebook that: "In a short period of time the Concordia ship will pass very close. A big greeting to my brother who finally gets to have a holiday on landing in Savona," the Telegraph reported. click here to read more

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