National/World

Experts fault captain, crew, Costa for Italy wreck

Thursday, September 13, 2012
FILE - In this file photo of Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that run aground the tiny Island of Giglio last Friday, leaves the Grosseto court, Italy.

FILE - In this file photo of Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that run aground the tiny Island of Giglio last Friday, leaves the Grosseto court, Italy. (AP Photo/Alessandro La Rocca, Lapresse, file)

Court-appointed experts have pointed the finger of blame primarily at the captain of a cruise ship that ran aground off Italy, killing 32, but also faulted the crew and ship owner for a series of blunders, delays and security breaches.

The Costa Concordia ran aground and capsized Jan. 13 off Tuscany's Giglio island after Capt. Francesco Schettino took it off course in a stunt. He and eight others are on trial.

In a 270-page analysis, the experts said a series of problems hobbled the response to Schettino's maneuver and contributed to the botched evacuation: crew members bungled directions, didn't understand orders and weren't trained in emergency drills.

And they said ship owner Costa Crociere delayed alerting coastal authorities of the emergency, a charge Costa denied Thursday.

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