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Death toll of Italian ship wreck rises to 12

(Xinhua)

10:55, January 22, 2012

The Costa Concordia cruise ship which ran aground off the west coast of Italy at Giglio island lies on its side, half-submerged and threatening to slide into deeper waters January 21, 2012. (Photo/Agencies)

ROME, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of the Italian cruise liner wreck rose to 12 on Saturday after the body of a woman was found in the ship that ran aground off the country's western coast a week ago, local media said.

The corpse, which was reportedly wearing a life jacket, was found on the fourth deck of the Costa Concordia after specialist divers accessed to the capsized vessel using controlled explosives.

Twenty people are still missing after the ship with over 4,229 people on board crashed into a rock last Friday in shallow waters near Giglio island off the Tuscany coast, ripping a hole in its hull.

On Saturday, divers also recuperated the captain's strongbox and personal belongings, as well as the video cameras of command quarters, which may reveal further details on the tragedy in ongoing investigations.

Captain Francesco Schettino, who was said to have left the ship before all passengers had evacuated refusing to coordinate rescue operations, has been put under house arrest with charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship.

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