The wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise liner is to be inspected for the first time since its fatal 2012 accident, after an Italian judge agreed to let experts climb aboard to collect fresh evidence.
On January 23, a delegation is to inspect the bridge of the vessel to check for any remaining electronic apparatus and to look at the on-board lifts.
Four days later, the experts are to return to the ship to inspect the emergency generator, which failed to activate on the night of the disaster. The dates might change, however, in case of bad weather.
The sections of the ship due to be scrutinised were unreachable until September, when the Concordia was righted from the half-capsized position it laid in after it crashed against rocks near the Italian island of Giglio on January 13, 2012.
Thirty-two people, out of 4229 people who were on board, died in the accident.
Captain Francesco Schettino is being tried in Grosseto, central Italy, for manslaughter and other serious crimes, such as: abandoning ship; failing to alert authorities in time; and bungling evacuation procedures.
But Codacons, an Italian consumer group, and a group of lawyers representing victim’s relatives and survivors, argue that Schettino is being made a scapegoat, while organisational and security shortcomings on the Concordia are overlooked.
They pressed the court trying Schettino to allow the on-board inspections, hoping they could provide fresh evidence in addition to the findings of a court-appointed expert report that was compiled in 2012, using black box recordings and other documentation.