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Divers find 17th body on half-sunken Italian cruise ship

By Hanns-Jochen Kaffsack –

ROME, Italy — Divers on Saturday found the body of a woman on the half-sunken Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia, officials on the island of Giglio said, bringing the total number of bodies recovered to 17.

The woman was discovered on the flooded sixth deck of the vessel, which sank two weeks ago just off Giglio, on Italy’s western coast.

Local media reported that indications were she was a crew member and that she had not been wearing a life jacket.

There are still 17 people unaccounted for, according to a list published by the prefecture of Grosseto.

The German Foreign Office confirmed that at least five of the dead so far recovered were German.

Meanwhile the Dutch company charged with removing 2,300 tons of fuel from the ship said bad weather may delay the operation until Wednesday, according to the ANSA news agency.

The operation had originally been due to start on Saturday but the bad weather is predicted to last until Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Italian consumer group Codacons said Saturday that, together with two U.S. law firms, it was bringing a compensation lawsuit worth $460 million against cruise ship operator Costa Crociere.

The operator had previously offered passengers 11,000 euros ($14,527.70) each.

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