Last 5 cruise ship bodies identified; 2 Americans named
(CNN) — The last five bodies recovered from the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner have been identified, the mayor’s office in the Italian city of Grosseto said Tuesday.
Two Americans, Gerald and Barbara Heil, were among those named in a statement from the mayor’s office.
The others were identified as two Germans, Christina and Norbert Ganz, and an Italian crew member, Giuseppe Girolamo. Two people remain missing, the mayor’s office said.
“We will now be able to move forward and bring them home to rest,” the Heil family said. “The rescue and recovery crew on the island of Giglio have been relentless in their mission to find the missing and have given us hope through this whole process. We cannot thank them enough for continuing to risk their lives in an effort to find our parents.”
The family offered its prayers for those still missing loved ones.
“We know our parents are together and are happy. We look forward to the day when we can all be together again,” the statement read.
At least 30 people died when the cruise liner struck rocks and turned on its side off the Italian island of Giglio on January 13.
Recovery teams have spent weeks searching the submerged decks and cabins for those who failed to escape the sinking vessel.
The liner, owned by Genoa-based Costa Cruises, was carrying about 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members at the time of the incident.
The Concordia’s captain, Francesco Schettino, remains under house arrest while he is investigated for possible criminal charges.
He faces allegations of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, abandoning ship, failing to report an accident to the coast guard and destroying a natural habitat, a prosecutor said last month. Giglio is a protected park.
Schettino’s first officer, Ciro Ambrosio, and six other officers both on the ship and from the firm Costa in Genoa are under investigation over allegations including manslaughter, shipwreck and failure to report the accident, the prosecutor said.
No one has yet been charged in connection with the incident.
Schettino has previously said managers of the Costa cruise line instructed him to sail close to the island and has denied allegations that he was sailing too fast. He has said the rock the ship struck was not indicated on his charts of the area.
CNN’s Marilia Brocchetto contributed to this report.