Update: An Italian judge has placed Costa Concordia Captain Francesco Schettino under House Arrest.
More than 70 passengers who were on the Costa Concordia, the Italian cruise ship that is sinking after running aground in Italy, joined a class action lawsuit against its owner, according to reports.
The Agence France-Presse and NewsCore reported via the Herald Sun in Australia that Carlo Rienzi, who heads the Italian consumer rights association Codacons, said the passengers joined the class action that was initiated by the association.
Our objective is to get each passenger at least $12,773 compensation for material damage and also for ... the fear suffered, the holidays ruined and the serious risks endured, Rienzi said.
More than 4,200 people were on board the 114,500-ton luxury cruise liner when it hit a reef on Friday, ripping a reported 70- to 100-meter hole in its hull. Six bodied have been found so far and 29 people are still missing.
Who is among the missing?
The coast guard told the AFP that 14 Germans, six Italians, four French, two Americans, one Hungarian, one Indian and one Peruvian are among those unaccounted for.
We are continuing the search operation, said Filippo Marini, a spokesman for the coast guard. The ship at the moment is stable and we are being helped by the weather.
Rescuers had to evacuate the day before because of rough seas.
The captain of the ship Francesco Schettino has been questioned, arrested and is now facing charges that include multiple manslaughter charges, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship, according to Reuters.
Schettino was taken to a jail in the provincial capital Grosseto. Reports are that he is awaiting questioning by a magistrate. Reports are that he was ordered to remain in custody.
Too close to the shore
Reports are that a black box transcript shows that Schettino ignored orders from port officials to return on deck after abandoning the ship.
On Monday, a transcript of a conversation between Schettino and a port official was released, showing the captain's refusal to return to the ship.
You must tell us how many people are on board, how many women, how many children, the official told Schettino, as reported by CNN. You have to coordinate the rescue operation. Commander, this is an order. Now I'm in charge, you have abandoned ship and now you are going to go to the stem and coordinate the work. There are already dead bodies.
What are you doing? Are you abandoning the rescue? the official asked. (Listen to parts of the audio here.)
Costa Cruises boss Pier Luigi Foschi told the BBC that Schettino sailed too close to a nearby island so that he can show the ship to locals. Schettino has reportedly blamed the crash of the sinking cruise ship on rocks were allegedly not on his chart.
Foschi apologized for the accident during a news conference in Genoa.
The company will be close to the captain and will provide him with all the necessary assistance, but we need to acknowledge the facts and we cannot deny human error, Foschi said, as reported by the BBC. This route was put in correctly. The fact that it left from this course is due solely to a maneuver by the commander that was unapproved, unauthorized and unknown to Costa.
He wanted to show the ship, to [go] nearby this island of Giglio, so he decided to change the course of the ship to go closer to the island.
Fears of an environmental disaster have already begun to increase. People are worried about what would happen if there should be a rupture and leakage in the ship's tanks, which is filled with 2,380 tons of fuel.
Marini has told AFP that emergency crews have already laid down absorbent booms after seeing an iridescence in the water.
The Herald Sun has reported that an insurance industry source has said that the hull of the Costa Concordia was insured for some $497million in the London market with The Standard Club.