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Francesco Schettino, captain of the doomed cruise ship Costa Concordia, has appeared on Italian TV, in his first full television interview since the January accident, apologizing for the incident.

On January 13, the Costa Concordia travelled into shallow water close to the Island of Giglio off of the Tuscan coast, capsizing the ship. Four thousand two hundred passengers and crew were on board and as many as 32 people died.  

“I blame myself for being distracted,” Schettino said in the interview. He claims he was taking a phone call at the time of the accident and that another officer was in charge of the ship.

Schettino also mentioned the victims, telling Italy’s Canale 5 television that he thinks of them often, and cried at the mention of Dayana Arlotti, the 5-year-old youngest victim of the crash, according to the BBC.

The captain is charged with multiple manslaughter, causing the ship to sink and abandoning ship. 8 other officers are also under investigation.

Schettino has been relieved of house arrest by the court judge. His next court hearing will happen later this month on 21 July.


Main image: Francesco Schettino being arrested in January in relations with the cruise ship disaster (Getty)

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Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino apologises for Tuscan cruise ship disaster
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