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Concordia captain blames helmsman for disaster

Monday, September 23, 2013 - 01:34

Sept. 23 - Concordia shipwreck captain Francesco Schettino blames helmsman for disaster as his trial resumes after the summer recess. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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The trial of Francesco Schettino, the Captain in charge of the ill-fated Costa Concordia, resumes in a makeshift court at a theater in Tuscany. The Captain faces multiple charges including manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship after the Concordia, carrying more than 4,000 people hit a reef off a Tuscan island killing 32 people in 2012. While he admits that as captain of the ship, he bears responsibility for the accident -- he is also accusing the helmsman of not following orders. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) JUDGES IN COURT WITH SOUND OF CAPTAIN FRANCESCO SCHETTINO SAYING: "I wanted to say that from the black box, you can hear that the moment I asked the helmsman to move the tiller left and I said "left, 20 to the left", in that moment the ship had an angle leaning towards the right and the error of not putting it to the left, the lateness of this movement, caused this mistake." His lawyers have also asked the court to authorize the vessel be examined for evidence of possible technical faults -- a move backed by some of the lawyers representing passengers. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) LAWYER ALESSANDRA GUARINI, REPRESENTING PASSENGER, SAYING: "We think that this ship had things that did not work including the alarms and communication. And, when the passengers were onboard a series of things did not work. We hope tests carried out will answer our question -- Why was a ship of this kind not able to save all the passengers onboard?" The hearing is expected to continue for the rest of the week before going into recess.

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Concordia captain blames helmsman for disaster

Monday, September 23, 2013 - 01:34