Lawyers say Costa Concordia had taken dangerous route before
Feb 20, 2012, 15:03 GMT
Rome - The Costa Concordia had allegedly sailed dangerously close to the Italian island of Giglio several times before the night of January 13, when it sank, according to documents submitted by lawyers representing several of the shipwreck's survivors.
The documents also appear to suggest that ships owned by the Costa Crociere company had made at least 10 similar 'close passages' to land, contradicting previous statements made by the company, the ANSA news agency reported Monday.
The Concordia ran aground near Giglio, a small island off Italy's western coast, after veering off its official course.
To date, 17 people have been certified dead from the disaster, while 15 remain unaccounted for.
According to ANSA, lawyers Pietro Ilardi and Francesco Compagna, together with US law firm Clifford Law Offices, submitted their documents 'a few weeks ago' to prosecutors leading an investigation into the accident.
On August 14 the cruise ship, moving at a speed of 17 knots, came within 150 metres of Giglio - the same situation as when it hit rocks in the January accident, the lawyers allege.
The lawyers argues that Costa Crociere's top management should be placed under investigation for 'violating the most elementary safety norms.'
Costa Crociere has blamed the Concordia's captain, Francesco Schettino, for the accident.
Schettino is currently under house arrest and faces charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship before all of the around 4,200 passengers and crew were evacuated.