Lifestyle & Belief

Francesco Schettino, Costa Concordia captain, apologizes for 'banal accident'


A photograph taken early on January 14, 2012 of the Costa Concordia after the cruise ship with more than 4,000 people on board ran aground and keeled over off the Isola del Giglio, and Italian island, Friday night.



Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia, apologized for the "banal accident" which killed 32 people when he ran the ship aground in January, BBC News reported.

In his first interview since being released from house arrest, Schettino told Italian television channel Canale 5 that he "thought constantly of the victims" but that he also considered himself a victim of the accident, Ria Novosti reported

"When there's an accident, it is not just the ship that is identified or the company, the captain is identified and so it's normal that I should apologize as a representative of this system," Schettino said, according to Ria Novosti.  

When asked about a five-year-old girl who died in the wreck, he could not answer, and broke down on camera, according to the BBC.

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The captain has been accused of manslaughter and for causing the fatal accident by sterring the cruise ship too close to rocks off Italy's western coast, and also of abandoning ship while his crew and passengers were still aboard, according to MSNBC

Schettino also told Channel 5, “I feel guilty for having been distracted" but did not accept full blame for the shipwreck, MSNBC reported. 

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The liner's black box, discovered by forensic investigators, indicated that the captain disabled the ship's automatic pilot and began steering the the ship at 9:39 p..m the night of January 13, six minutes before the boat's collision at 9:45, the Telegraph reported

Workers have begun the long process of removing the rocky reef from the ship's hull, the first step in removing the vessel from the Mediterranean, Fox News reported

The whole removal process could take as long as a year, according to Fox.