The captain of the cruise ship Concordia tried to orchestrate a cover-up in which the company would blame the shipwreck on a power failure, a court in Italy has heard.
Capt. Francesco Schettino was in command of the cruise liner when it hit rocks and sank off the coast of Tuscany in January 2012, killing 32 people.
The 52-year-old defendant, who allegedly caused the wreck by ordering an ill-fated close-pass “salute” to the island of Giglio, is on trial, accused of mass manslaughter and abandoning ship.
In court in Tuscany, Roberto Ferrarini, the head of the crisis unit, said the former captain asked him to help cover his tracks by telling the authorities that a power outage had caused the collision.
“That was a different false account, compared to what he had said before, namely that he had hit a rock, which caused the ship to flood,” Ferrarini said, according to a report by Britain’s Daily Mail.