‘Sue us if you want compensation’ Concordia survivors told

“I don’t have any cards, I don’t have any ID, I don’t have the key to my car
which is parked at Barcelona port, so I asked for some money to buy basics.
Initially, everyone from Costa Cruises was happy to take notes and said they
were here to help us, but that seemed to change throughout the day,” Mr
Tofanelli said.

“By the evening, a tough-looking man and a handful of women were telling us,
‘If you want any money or compensation, you have to make a legal claim. You
need to go to court’.”

Mr Tofanelli, who is disabled, was unable to buy essential medicine, whilst
another member of his party lost her shoes in the disaster and had to spend
more than 24 hours barefoot.

“The only people who helped us were the Italian government and the Proteccion
Civil. They came with some tracksuits and T-shirts and underwear but there
were not enough to round. We had to fight for trainers,” he said.

He and his family were forced to borrow money from friends to keep them going
until Mr Tofanelli’s return flight to the UK. They now plan to mount a class
action lawsuit against Costa Cruises with other passengers involved in the

A spokesman for Costa Cruises said he had yet to hear what the company’s
compensation policy will be.

The apparent switch in the company’s stance towards compensating passengers
came as it abruptly shifted its position about who is responsible for the

It initially spent two days defending Captain Francesco Schettino, 52, Costa
Cruises but suggested on Sunday night that the blame lay with him after all.

“Preliminary indications are that there may have been significant human error
on the part of the ship’s Master…which resulted in these grave
consequences,” Costa Cruises said.

The chairman and chief executive of Costa Cruises added on Monday that the
company “will be close to the captain and will provide him with all the
necessary assistance, but we need to acknowledge the facts and we cannot
deny human error,” he said.

Italian prosecutors claim that Captain Francesco Schettino came too close to
Giglio’s rocky shore to send a greeting signal to someone on the Italian

Mr Schettino is in jail, accused of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck
and abandoning ship. He denies all wrongdoing and was questioned by
magistrates on Tuesday.

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