A report leaked to Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper Tuesday details a myriad defects found on the Costa Concordia cruise liner, including unapproved maps, faulty instruments and watertight doors left wide open.
Some of the technical devices on board the cruise liner had been broken for four days before disaster struck Jan. 13, Corriere della Sera alleges, citing leaked documents from the inquiry.
Emails cited by the paper show the ship had been due in for repairs on its technical instruments after it reached port the day after the tragedy.
The Vdr (voyage data recorder) has broken down for the umpteenth time. ... The situation is becoming unbearable, the paper quotes Costa Crociere's technical director Pierfrancesco Ferro as telling a repair firm in an email.
An officer on board also reportedly claimed watertight doors were open at the time of impact, saying this was a practice used during the navigation to ease the flow of people who were at work.
Thirty-two of the ship's 4,229 passengers and crew died when it hit rocks off the shore of the island of Giglio, which tore open the ship and made it capsize.
Captain Francesco Schettino faces charges for steering the Concordia -- owned by Europe's biggest cruise operator, Costa Crociere -- too close to the island's shore, though he denies the charges.
Italian authorities are currently holding an inquiry into the cause of the disaster and new information has been leaked to the local media at almost every stage of the investigation.
The new report also alleges that crucial data that might explain why the cruise ship ran aground off the west coast of Italy is missing, raising doubts over whether the black box data recorder was working at the time of the disaster on Jan. 13.
The black box, the report suggests, was not working at all when the ship set sail, and information gathered so far has been from data stored on secure computing systems, which crashed two hours into the disaster.
Costa Crociere, the ship's owner, previously stated that there were reports of a problem with the black box a few days before the accident, but argued on the night of the disaster it was working perfectly.
The ship owner responded to the new report, saying that the ship's black box had in fact only issued an error code, which in no way meant that the device was out of service, as is demonstrated by the fact that the data it contained were perfectly in line with engineers' expectations.
The full results of technical analysis are expected at a court hearing due on July 21. Schettino and eight others, including three executives from Costa Crociere, are under investigation.
The ship itself remains on its side off Giglio and the overall contract for its salvage has been given to Titan-Micoperi, an Italo-American consortium.