Costa Concordia: Skull found onboard luxury cruise ship to be tested for links to unaccounted waiter Russel Rebello

32 people died when the ship capsized off the coast of an Italian island in 2012

Italian authorities have found a human skull while for searching the remains of a waiter in the wreckage of the Costa Concordia cruise liner.

The country’s civil protection agency said on Wednesday that it is not clear whether the fragment belongs to Indian waiter Russel Rebello, who was one of 32 people who died when the Concordia struck a reef off Tuscany and capsized in January 2012.

The tragic crash happened after the ship's captain Francesco Schettino attempted to 'salute' the island of Gilgio.

The ship was brought upright in September, as part of one of the biggest maritime salvage operations in history. Since mid-July, salvage workers gradually lifted the 114,500-tonne luxury cruise ship from the sea floor, by pumping air into 30 large metal boxes attached to the hull, known as sponsons.

 

Having been brought upright, the ship was transported to Genoa, where the search for Mr Rebello's remains resumed and where the ship will be taken apart.

But civil protection officials said the fragments might also belong to Italian passenger Maria Grazia Trecarichi, whose partial, mutilated remains were recovered a few months ago.

It will now take a number of days to analyse the skull in order to establish which victim it belonged to, Italy's Civil Protection Agency said, the Telegraph reported.

The families of Mr Rebello and Mrs Trecarichi had been informed of the discovery, officials said.

Additional reporting by AP

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