NEWS

Italian Cruise Ship Divers Find 17th Victim

01/28/2012 11:43 EST | Updated 03/29/2012 05:12 EDT
AP

Divers searching the wreck of the Costa Concordia off Italy's Tuscan coast have found the body of a woman, bringing the number of dead to 17.

The discovery came as salvage operations to pump out thousands of tonnes of fuel from the grounded cruise ship were delayed by rough seas.

Choppy waters partially dislodged a barge owned by a Dutch salvage firm that was hitched to the Concordia's hull to serve as a staging platform for the fuel-removal operation.

The company had intended to begin pumping fuel out Saturday, as concerns grow that a leak could wreak havoc on a protected marine sanctuary.

Paola Pagliara, from Italy's civil protection forecast centre, said weather conditions off the island of Giglio, where the Concordia ran aground Jan. 13, are likely to remain rough through the weekend.

More than 4,200 passengers and crew members were on board when the vessel slammed into some underwater rocks off the shore of the island.

The crash is under investigation, while uncertainty also surrounds the operation to salvage the ship, which weighs over 100,000 tonnes, or more than twice what the Titanic did.

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