Rome: The body of an Indian waiter, who was the last missing victim of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia, has been found while dismantling the vessel, nearly three years after Italy's worst postwar maritime disaster.
The remains of the 32nd and last victim from the January 2012 Costa Concordia disaster, Indian waiter Russel Rebello, were found in a cabin in the wreck in Genoa where it is set to be scrapped.
Costa Concordia shipwreck. Pic/AFP
Russel Rebello's brother Kevin, in a Facebook post said, "Costa Concordia after 1,025 days. I promised my family that I will bring back home my brother some day...My younger brother Russel Rebello's body has finally been found on deck 8 in a cabin of the wrecked Concordia, who guarded him for more that 1,025 days."
"I dont have words to express. Just My pain my tears, my heart pounding harder and my body trembling, when i Broke the news to my parents a while ago...Thanks to everyone who prayed and believed that one day he would be found," Kevin said. "Now we wait for the DNA test and the procedures to give Russel his final resting place with honour, respect and a HEROES welcome. India we are coming," he said. The remains of the 31st victim, Sicilian passenger Maria Grazia Trecarichi, were found in August.
Kevin Rebello shows his brother Russel's photo when the search operations were going on in Giglio. Pic/AFP
A year after the Concordia hit a Tuscan rock on January 13, 2012 in the disaster, a Spanish diver died while working on the salvage operation, taking the total death toll to 33. In addition to the 32 people who lost their lives in the disaster, hundreds were injured.
The incident also caused massive economic damage for Costa Cruises and the residents of Giglio Island, which is a popular tourist destination, Italian news agency ANSA reported. Former captain Francesco Schettino is on trial for multiple manslaughter and dereliction of duty, and could face up to 20 years in prison if he is found guilty.
Dubbed "Captain Coward" by the media for allegedly abandoning ship without overseeing the evacuation, Schettino claims his image and actions have been distorted by investigators and recently called on judges for a new probe. He is the only person standing criminal trial over the disaster after state prosecutors last year rejected a plea bargain offer from him to accept a jail term of three years and five months.
But they accepted the pleas to suspended sentences of five other officials, including four ship's officers and the crisis coordinator of the vessel's owners, Costa Cruises. Costa agreed to pay a one-million-euro fine to settle potential criminal charges last April.