The doomed Costa Concordia cruise ship that crashed in January killing 32 people was allegedly sailing with its sealed doors open, unapproved maps, and faulty instruments, according to new reports.
The Corriere della Sera newspaper reported that some of the technical apparatus on the ship had been broken since 9 January, four days before the tragedy on the Italian island of Giglio, citing leaked documents from the inquiry.
The black box data recorder (VDR) was also reportedly to working at the time of impact on 13 January, meaning investigators have to rely on a computer that was switched off at 11.36pm, meaning it may be impossible to find out exactly what happened that night, according to the Herald Sun.
The Daily Mail reports that in a series of emails, Costa Cruises' technical director Pierfrancesco Ferro told a repair firm: "The VDR has broken down for the umpteenth time... The situation is becoming unbearable."
The emails began on 10 January, with the correspondence indicating that there were plans to finally resolve the problem when the liner docked at the port of Savona on 14 January. But, of course, it never arrived.
Codacons, the Italian consumer group that is leading a class action against Costa Cruises, is also claiming that electrical problems may have contributed directly to the deaths of four passengers who are thought to have died in the stricken vessel's lifts.
All claims of failures in the ship's Martec electrical control system leading to problems with the lifts, blackouts and difficulty in closing watertight doors designed to prevent flooding that should have been sealed, were denied by the Costa Cruises.
A spokesman told the Corriere della Sera newspaper: "The black box signalled only an error code which absolutely did not mean that the VDR apparatus was not working.'
"There is no law or international convention that means that in a situation like this the ship could not sail.''
The company added: "What is most worth remembering is that the ship should never have been sailing so close to the coast'.
According to the BBC, a court hearing is due on 21 July at which the full results of technical analysis will be heard.
The Costa Concordia's captain, Francesco Schettino, is being investigated for manslaughter and abandoning ship before all of the 4,229 passengers and crew.
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