An Italian judge has suspended the identification of eight bodies found last week on board of the Costa Concordia.
The parents of two French teenagers, known only as Mylène and Mickaël, who disappeared on January 13 when the ship was struck after veering too close to the island of Giglio, are said to be "distraught" at the news.
“They have been told that the lawyer of of one of the accused asked for the suspension of the DNA identification of the bodies. The justice agreed. It’s incomprehensible. We are distraught”, said André, the uncle of the siblings.
On 22 February eight bodies were found on one of the passengers’ decks. Of these bodies, only one has been identified as Dayana Arlotti, a five year old girl whose disappearance had provoked much turmoil in Italy.
Dayana's father, William, is still missing. He had a history of health problems, and was said by family to be traveling to celebrate a new lease on life after reportedly receiving a kidney and pancreas transplant.
Furious and exhausted, Mylène and Mickaël’s parents have been on island of Giglio since the tragedy to pressure authorities to accelerate the search for the bodies.
The sea rescue team is still exploring the ship for the seven remaining passengers, but according to the family work is progressing “not quickly enough”.
Meanwhile in France, a support group has been created on Facebook with 2,350 supporters in an attempt to contact journalists and raise awareness. The family has been interviewed on national radio shows, and a petition is circulating with almost 2,000 signatures.
The news came only one day after Italian newspaper La Stampa` leaked new allegations about life on board the Costa Concordia.
One woman, a nurse identified only as Valentina B, who worked with under-fire Concordia skipper Francesco Schettino, claimed he regularly "used women as goods to be bartered with."
She resigned from the company because of the unsustainable professional atmosphere after an official committed suicide in his cabin.
Another former employee, identified only as Mery G, said: "The crew and officers are very superficial when it come to dealing with an emergency. I only worked for Costa for two months in 2010 but a lot of the time officers and crew were drunk.
"At parties a lot of the time we would ask ourselves: If there is an emergency who is going to save the ship?"
Mylene and Mickael’s parents obtained the right to assist to the first hearing of the case this Saturday, which will designate the experts to analyse the ship's black box. The charges against the captain of the Costa Concordia and some members of Costa Crociere will be read out at the hearing.
Schettino’s lawyers declared the captain will not appear at the hearing to maintain public order, and to protect the captain’s security.
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