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Two Survivors Found on Stricken Cruise Ship

8:24 PM, Jan 14, 2012   |    comments
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ROME (AP) - The Italian news agency ANSA is quoting rescuers as finding two survivors alive and in good condition in a cabin aboard a cruise liner that ran aground off Tuscany a day earlier.

ANSA said fire department rescuers found two Asians in a cabin inside the liner late Saturday night and were bringing out the survivors.

Fire officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment near the tiny island of Giglio, where the Costa Concordia went aground and turned on its side Friday night, leaving three people dead and forcing some 4,000 aboard to evacuate.

Italian media also report that the captain of the cruise liner has been detained for questioning in the case.

Sky Italia reported Saturday that investigators based in the Tuscan city of Grosseto confirmed Francisco Schettino was detained for investigation of alleged manslaughter, abandoning his ship while people were still aboard and causing a shipwreck.

The ANSA news agency says he was taken to Grosseto's jail, to be held until next week, when a judge will decide whether he should be released or formally put under arrest. The courthouse was closed late Saturday and couldn't be reached.

In Italy, suspects can be held without charge for a few days for investigation. A judge must either validate the jailing, putting the suspect under arrest, or declare him free to go.

The U.S. State Department estimates that 126 U.S. citizens were aboard the cruise ship that ran aground off the Italian coast, but the U.S. has no reports of injuries so far.

Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. is working to get an exact count about the number of Americans who were on the Costa Concordia.

She says the U.S. Embassy has set up a crisis response team in Rome and U.S. citizens are being assisted with documentation and lodging.

The luxury liner with 4,234 aboard ran aground off the island of Giglio near the coast of Tuscany late Friday. Three bodies have been recovered from the sea.

Associated Press

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