5 more bodies found on Costa Concordia

Italian naval divers, top left, recover a body from the cruise ship Costa Concordia, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012. Italian media say five bodies have been found aboard a cruise ship capsized off the coast of Tuscany, raising the official death toll to 11. Teams have been searching the ship for passengers and crew missing since the Costa Concordia struck rocks Friday evening and capsized. Rescuers exploded four holes in the hull of the ship earlier Tuesday to gain easier access to areas that had not yet been searched. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) Gregorio Borgia

Updated at 3:48 p.m. ET

ROME - Five more bodies were pulled Tuesday from the wreckage of a crippled cruise ship off Tuscany, and a shocking audio emerged in which the ship's captain was heard making excuses as the Italian coast guard repeatedly ordered him to return to oversee his ship's evacuation.

Prosecutors have accused Capt. Francesco Schettino of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship before all passengers were evacuated during the grounding of the Costa Concordia cruise ship Friday night. Schettino was interrogated for three hours Tuesday before an Italian judge ordered him under house arrest, according to his attorney.

The death toll nearly doubled to 11 on Tuesday when divers extracted five more bodies, all of them adults wearing life jackets, from the rear of the ship near an emergency evacuation point, according to Italian Coast Guard Cmdr. Cosimo Nicastro. He said they were thought to have been passengers.



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Prior to that discovery, the coast guard had raised the number of missing to 25 passengers and four crew. Italian officials gave the breakdown as 14 Germans, six Italians, four French, two Americans, one Hungarian, one Indian and one Peruvian.

But there was still confusion over the numbers, and the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin listed 12 Germans as confirmed missing.

The Costa Concordia was carrying more than 4,200 people when it hit a reef off the Tuscan island of Giglio on Friday night. That occured after Schettino made an unauthorized deviation from the cruise ship's programmed course, apparently as a favor to his chief waiter, who hailed from the island.

Schettino has insisted that he stayed aboard until the ship was evacuated. However, a recording of his conversation with Italian Coast Guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco that emerged Tuesday indicates he fled before all passengers were off — and then resisted De Falco's repeated orders to return.

"You go on board and then you will tell me how many people there are. Is that clear?" De Falco shouted in the audio tape.

Schettino resisted, saying the ship was tipping and it was dark. At the time, he and his second-in-command were in a lifeboat and the captain said he was coordinating the rescue from there. He also said he was not going back on board the ship "because the other lifeboat is stopped." Passengers have said many lifeboats on the exposed port side of the ship didn't winch down after the ship had capsized.

De Falco shouted back: "And so what? You want to go home, Schettino? It is dark and you want to go home? Get on that prow of the boat using the pilot ladder and tell me what can be done, how many people there are and what their needs are. Now!"

"You go aboard. It is an order. Don't make any more excuses. You have declared 'Abandon ship,' now I am in charge," De Falco shouted.

At one point, De Falco vowed "I'm going to make sure you get in trouble. ...I am going to make you pay for this. Go on board, (expletive)!"

Schettino was finally heard agreeing to reboard on the tape. But the coast guard has said he never went back, and had police arrest him on land.

Audio: Coast Guard ordered captain back to liner

The 52-year-old Schettino, described by the Italian media as a genial, tanned ship's officer, has worked for 11 years for the ship's owner and was made captain in 2006. He hails from Meta di Sorrento, in the Naples area, which produces many of Italy's ferry and cruise boat captains. He attended the Nino Bixio merchant marine school near Sorrento.

Schettino recounted his version of events before prosecutors and a judge at a preliminary hearing Tuesday as to whether he should stay jailed, as requested by prosecutors. The judge instead placed him under house arrest, rejecting a defense bid to set Schettino free, his attorney, Bruno Leporatti, told Sky TG24 TV and the Italian news agency ANSA. The captain could face up to 12 years in prison on the abandoning ship charge alone.

Leporatti said that in the hearing, the captain had insisted that after the initial crash into the reefs, he had maneuvered the ship close to shore in a way that "saved hundreds if not thousands of lives."

Passengers, however described the evacuation as chaotic.

Steve and Kathy Ledtke, who live in Fort Gratiot, Michigan, said they were sitting down to a late dinner Friday when they realized something had gone wrong. Kathy Ledtke told WDIV-TV that it seemed no one was in charge.

"It was complete chaos, and it was every man for himself," Kathy Ledtke said. "Nobody knew where to go."

Earlier Tuesday, Italian naval divers exploded holes in the hull of the grounded cruise ship, trying to speed up the search for the missing while seas were still calm. Navy spokesman Alessandro Busonero told Sky TV 24 the holes would help divers enter the wreck more easily.

"We are rushing against time," he said.

The divers set four microcharges above and below the surface of the water, Busonero said. Video showed one hole above the waterline less than 6 feet in diameter.

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