Divers found eight more bodies in the wreck of the cruise liner Costa Concordia on Wednesday. Italian fire service divers found the bodies on one of the ship's passenger decks, and three were later recovered from the scene. Efforts to recover the remaining five were suspended after weather conditions worsened.
Among the eight was the body of a 5-year-old Italian girl, who will likely be identified as the missing Dayana Arlotti. The other two were of a man and a woman, who remain unidentified.
Recovery managers believe a total of 32 people lost their lives in the tragedy. As of yet, 17 bodies have been taken from the ship or surrounding waters.
The Costa Concordia, operated by Costa Cruises, struck a reef while sailing dangerously close to the Tuscan island of Giglio in the evening hours of Jan. 13, just hours after it left port. The liner was carrying 4,200 passengers and crew.
The ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, remains under house arrest for his alleged complicity in the disaster. He is under investigation for manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning the ship before all the passengers were safely evacuated. Schettino does not accept guilt in the matter.
Concordia's first officer, Ciro Ambrosio, is also being investigated. Prosecutors recently announced that seven other people, four of the ship's other officers and three Costa Cruises employees, will face official inquiry as well.
Costa Cruises said they maintain complete trust and solidarity with those under investigation, and are absolutely confident in their professional competence and ethical correctness, the BBC reported.
Weeks after the collision, the Concordia wreck continues to be an immense environmental hazard. Efforts to pump the fuel from the ship's nearly full tanks began in early February, but are often delayed due to inclement weather. Approximately 377,000 gallons of fuel has yet to be removed, according to Costa Cruises.