ROME (AP) — An Italian court refused Tuesday to lift an order of house arrest for Francesco Schettino, the captain of Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off a Tuscan island last month.
The court in Florence rejected two requests: one from prosecutors to jail Schettino and another from Schettino to be freed.
Schettino commanded the ship with 4,200 people that ran aground off the island of Giglio on Jan. 13, killing 17 people and leaving 15 missing. He is being investigated for suspected manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the vessel before all its passengers were evacuated.
The ship remains partly submerged off Giglio.
Officials plan to remove about 500,000 gallons (2,400 tons) of heavy fuel from it, but that has been delayed by rough seas and bad weather. Once the fuel is withdrawn, the massive ship will be broken into pieces and taken away — a process that could take many months.