Explosive Charges Used to Breach Italian Cruise Ship

Access points will allow rescue crews to gain entry faster.


 
 

FRANCES D'EMILIO and NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press | | Tuesday, January 17, 2012

GALLERIES

Multimedia Thumb

Capsizing of Italian Cruise Ship

Terrifying, chaotic escape from the luxury liner was straight out of a scene from "Titanic".
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Rescue Operations at Cruise Ship Capsizing

16 people still unaccounted for from the 4,200 on board.
More >



VIDEOS

Multimedia Thumb

Raw Video: Rescuers Use Explosives to Breach Italian Cruise Ship

Controlled explosions opened up new entry points.
more >





ROME (AP) — Italian naval divers on Tuesday exploded holes in the hull of a cruise ship grounded off a Tuscan island to speed the search for 29 missing people while seas were still calm. One official said there was still a "glimmer of hope" that survivors could be found.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, prepared to question the captain, who is accused of causing the wreck that left at least six dead and abandoning the Costa Concordia before all 4,200 people onboard were safely evacuated after the vessel capsized Friday night.

Navy spokesman Alessandro Busonero told Sky TV 24 the holes will help divers enter the wreck more easily. "We are rushing against time," he said.

The divers set four microcharges above and below the surface of the water, Busonero said. Television footage showed one hole above the waterline to be less than two meters (6 feet) in diameter.

"The hope is that the ship is empty and that the people are somewhere else, or if they are inside that they found a safe place to await rescue," Coast Guard spokesman Filippo Marini told Sky TV 24

The cruiseliner tragedy also has turned into a potential environmental crisis, with rough seas battering the stricken ship raising fears that fuel might leak into pristine waters off Giglio that are part of a sanctuary for dolphins, porpoises and whales.

Waters were relatively calm Tuesday with waves of just 30 centimeters, but they were expected to reach 1.8 meters Wednesday, according to meteorological forecasts.

The Italian Coast Guard on Monday raised the number of missing to 25 passengers and four crew. The missing appear to include a group of Germans, two Americans and six Italians. Family members have identified the Americans as Jerry Heil, 69, and his wife Barbara, 70, from White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

Italian Coast Guard official Marco Brusco said Tuesday there was still "a glimmer of hope" survivors could still be found on parts of the vast cruise liner not yet searched. The last survivor, a crewman who had broken his leg, was rescued Sunday.

The ship is carrying some 500,000 gallons (1.9 million liters) of fuel on board. To date there's been no word of any leaks, but choppy waters that slightly shifted the wreckage on Monday escalated fears of one and suspended rescue operations for several hours.

The ship's operator, Costa Crociere SpA, has enlisted one of the world's leading salvagers, Smit of Rotterdam, Netherlands, to handle the removal of the 1,000-foot (290-meter) cruise liner and extract the fuel safely.

The cruise operator has said Capt. Francesco Schettino strayed from the ship's authorized course into waters too close to the perilous reef. The navigational version of a "fly by" was apparently a favor to the chief waiter who is from Giglio and whose parents live on the island, local media reported.

A judge is to decide Tuesday if Schettino should stay jailed. Prosecutor Francesco Verusio called Schettino's maneuver "reckless" and "inexcusable."

Miami-based Carnival Corp., which owns the Italian operator, estimated that preliminary losses from having the Concordia out of operation at least through 2012 would be between $85 million and $95 million, along with other costs. The company's share price slumped more than 16 percent Monday.

Costa Crociere chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi said the company would provide Schettino with legal assistance, but he disassociated Costa from his behavior, saying it broke rules. "Capt. Schettino took an initiative of his own will which is contrary to our written rules of conduct," Foschi said.

Foschi didn't respond directly to prosecutors' and passengers' accusations that Schettino abandoned ship before all passengers had been evacuated, but he suggested his conduct wasn't as bad in the hours of the evacuation as has been portrayed. He didn't elaborate.

The Coast Guard said Schettino defied their entreaties to return to his ship as the chaotic evacuation of some 4,200 people was in progress. After the ship's tilt put many life rafts out of service, helicopters plucked to safety dozens of people still aboard, hours after Schettino was seen leaving the vessel.

The captain has insisted in an interview before his jailing that he stayed with the vessel to the end.

He noted that 4,200 people managed to evacuate a listing ship at night within two hours. In addition, the ship's evacuation procedures had been reviewed last November by an outside firm and port authorities and no faults were found, he said.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Raw Video: Rescuers Use Explosives to Breach Italian Cruise Ship

Rescue Operations at Cruise Ship Capsizing

Gallery 1

Rescue Operations at Cruise Ship Capsizing

An Italian firefighter helicopter lifts up a person from the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia which ran aground the off tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. Firefighters worked Sunday to rescue a crew member with a suspected broken leg from the overturned hulk of the luxury cruise liner Costa Concordia, 36 hours after it ran aground. More than 40 people are still unaccounted-for. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


Gallery 1

Rescue Operations at Cruise Ship Capsizing

Firefighters on a dinghy look at a rock emerging from the side of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, the day after it ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. The Italian Coast Guard says its divers have found two more bodies aboard the Costa Concordia. The discovery of the bodies brings to five the number of known dead after the luxury ship ran aground with some 4,200 people aboard on Friday night. (AP Photo/Andrea Sinibaldi, Lapresse)


Gallery 1

Rescue Operations at Cruise Ship Capsizing

An Italian firefighter helicopter airlifts a rescued passenger from the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia which ran aground off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. Firefighters worked Sunday to rescue a crew member with a suspected broken leg from the overturned hulk of the luxury cruise liner Costa Concordia, 36 hours after it ran aground. More than 40 people are still unaccounted-for. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


Gallery 1

Rescue Operations at Cruise Ship Capsizing

Italian firefighters scuba divers approach the cruise ship Costa Concordia leaning on its side, the day after it ran aground off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. A helicopter on Sunday airlifted a third survivor from the capsized hulk of a luxury cruise ship 36 hours after it ran aground off the Italian coast, as prosecutors confirmed they were investigating the captain for manslaughter charges and abandoning the ship. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


Gallery 1

Rescue Operations at Cruise Ship Capsizing

Italian firefighters' scuba divers approach the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia which ran aground a day earlier off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. The incident sent water pouring in through a 160-foot (50-meter) gash in the hull and forced the evacuation of some 4,200 people from the listing vessel early Saturday, the Italian coast guard said. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


Gallery 1

Rescue Operations at Cruise Ship Capsizing

Italian Navy scuba divers prepare to search the wreck of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia that ran aground in the tiny Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Tuscany, sending water pouring in through a 160-foot (50-meter) gash in the hull and forcing the evacuation of some 4,200 people from the listing vessel early Saturday, the Italian coast guard said. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


Gallery 1

Rescue Operations at Cruise Ship Capsizing

Investigators approach the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia which leans on its starboard side after running aground in the tiny Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Tuscany, sending water pouring in through a 160-foot (50-meter) gash in the hull and forcing the evacuation of some 4,200 people from the listing vessel early Saturday, the Italian coast guard said. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


Gallery 1

Rescue Operations at Cruise Ship Capsizing

Italian firefighters conduct search operations on the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia that ran aground the tiny Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Tuscany, sending water pouring in through a 160-foot (50-meter) gash in the hull and forcing the evacuation of some 4,200 people from the listing vessel early Saturday, the Italian coast guard said. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


Gallery 1

Rescue Operations at Cruise Ship Capsizing

A passenger from South Korea, center, walks with Italian Firefighters after being rescued from the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia which ran aground the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. The luxury cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Tuscany, sending water pouring in through a 160-foot (50-meter) gash in the hull and forcing the evacuation of some 4,200 people from the listing vessel early Saturday, the Italian coast guard said. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


Gallery 1

Rescue Operations at Cruise Ship Capsizing

A rescue dinghy hangs from the side of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia leaning on its side after ran aground off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Tuscany, sending water pouring in through a 160-foot (50-meter) gash in the hull and forcing the evacuation of some 4,200 people from the listing vessel early Saturday, the Italian coast guard said. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


Gallery 1

Rescue Operations as Cruise Ship Capsizing

Italian firefighters' scuba divers approach the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia which ran aground off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Tuscany, sending water pouring in through a 160-foot (50-meter) gash in the hull and forcing the evacuation of some 4,200 people from the listing vessel early Saturday, the Italian coast guard said. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


Gallery 1

Rescue Operations as Cruise Ship Capsizing

Italian firefighters' scuba divers approach the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia which ran aground off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Tuscany, sending water pouring in through a 160-foot (50-meter) gash in the hull and forcing the evacuation of some 4,200 people from the listing vessel early Saturday, the Italian coast guard said. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


Gallery 1

Rescue Operations as Cruise Ship Capsizing

A passenger from South Korea, top left, disembarks from an Italian Firefighter boat after being rescued from the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia which ran aground the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. The luxury cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Tuscany, sending water pouring in through a 160-foot (50-meter) gash in the hull and forcing the evacuation of some 4,200 people from the listing vessel early Saturday, the Italian coast guard said. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)



Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, international EMS, water rescue

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Ebola Changes How North Carolina EMS Responds to Calls

Concern about virus spread leads to new protocols.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Oklahoma Hospitals Prepare for Ebola Cases

Training and preparation are keys for metro hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

EMS in Nevada Prepares for the Unexpected

Protocols and PPE protect AMR personnel.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Brace for Possible Ebola Patients

Union leader shares concern over precautions.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

EMS Tailgating

Rigs converted for football.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

CDC Ebola Training for Clinicians

Students learn the complexities of working in bulky suits.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >