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Costa Concordia survivors: 16 years is not enough

Two survivors of the Costa Concordia disaster have told ITV News they are unsatisifed with the 16-year prison sentence handed to captain Francesco Schettino.

Janice and Ian Donoff from north London said Schettino had committed a "total dereliction of duty" in abandoning the ship, and said the trauma of the crash had stayed with them.

However, they also questioned why Schettino alone was facing time in prison for the tragedy.

Five other officials had plea bargains accepted, while the ship's operator agreed a hefty fine.

Schettino may not serve prison sentence for years

Schettino was the only person to stand trial for the disaster. Credit: Reuters

Francesco Schettino, captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia, will not go to prison until his appeal is dealt with - a process that could take years.

The 54-year-old was sentenced to 10 years for multiple manslaughter, five years for causing the shipwreck and one year for abandoning his passengers, as well as a one month civil penalty for failing to report the accident correctly.

He stood trial alone after the ship's owners, Costa Cruises, paid a 1 million euro (£740,000) fine and prosecutors accepted plea bargains from five other officials.

Schettino and the company were jointly ordered to pay a total of 30,000 euros (£22,000) compensation to each of the ship's passengers.

Italian government ministries, the region of Tuscany and the island of Giglio will also be paid millions of euros in compensation for envionmental damage.

Costa Concordia captain broke down in final statement

Schettino broke down as he made a final statement. Credit: Reuters

The captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship had broken into tears as he made a final appeal to judges ahead of the verdict in his trial.

According to the Associated Press, Francesco Schettino told the court in Grosseto that he was "a few hours from a verdict that should have involved an entire organisation and instead sees me as the only defendant".

The 54-year-old then reportedly said "that's enough", appearing unable to finish his statement to the three-judge panel.

Schettino was not present at the time of the verdict, in which he was convicted of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship while many of the 4,200 passengers were still on board.

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Francesco Schettino claimed he was a 'scapegoat'

Efforts to right the Costa Concordia were only completed last year. Credit: Reuters

Francesco Schettino had claimed he was a scapegoat for the fatal ship disaster that saw him found guilty of manslaughter today.

As Emma Murphy reports, the Italian captain had said equipment and others were also at fault.

Schettino was convicted for his role in the 2012 disaster, which left 32 people dead after the vessel came too close to shore and hit rocks off the island of Giglio in Tuscany.

The cruise liner was only refloated in July last year, in one of the most expensive maritime salvage operations ever.

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