GROSSETO, Italy — The doomed Costa Concordia liner steamed into rocks off the Italian island of Giglio so quickly that within seconds water was rushing into a 35 metre-long gash torn into the hull and nothing could be done to save it, a court heard on Tuesday.
The evidence was presented during a pre-trial hearing into the disaster during which expert witnesses said key pieces of equipment, including a sonar depth sounder, were switched off when the accident happened.
The Concordia’s captain, Francesco Schettino, is accused of the manslaughter of 32 people, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship. He has admitted to making mistakes, but says he should not be the only one blamed.
His lawyers say that several aspects of the case need closer examination, including whether all the onboard safety and navigation equipment was working properly. They also say the ship’s Indonesian helmsman may not have understood orders given by Schettino.