Sex and drugs claims in Concordia disaster probe
Leaked documents from a probe into the Costa Concordia disaster contain allegations that officers were seen snorting cocaine and getting drunk on two of the operator's ships, La Stampa reported Thursday.
"The officers and crew were very often drunk," a former employee who worked on the Costa Concordia for two months in 2010 before quitting, said in one testimony published by the paper which could not be independently verified.
"We often asked ourselves at parties: 'Who would save the ship if there was an emergency?'," she said.
She was also quoted as saying by the daily that she had been sexually harassed by a crew member "who was completely high on drugs."
Costa Crociere says it implements zero tolerance anti-drugs rules on board and carries out regular checks. The company has also defended its safety training methods and the courage of crew members during last month's tragedy.
Another testimony was from a former nurse who worked in 2010 under captain Francesco Schettino on board a different ship, the Costa Atlantica.
The nurse said she had seen "corruption, drugs and prostitution" on board.
"I saw with my own eyes officers taking cocaine," she said.
Schettino -- dubbed "Captain Coward" by the tabloid press -- is at the centre of a criminal inquiry over the Costa Concordia. He is accused of multiple counts of manslaughter as well as abandoning ship.
Eight other people are under investigation, including three executives from Costa Crociere which is part of world cruise giant Carnival Corporation.
A drug test on Schettino after the accident showed he had not taken any drugs but found residual amounts of cocaine on his hair.
The Costa Concordia crushed into the island of Giglio off the shores of Tuscany on January 13 with 4,229 people on board just as passengers were settling down to the supper on the first day of their cruise.
Thirty-two people lost their lives in the disaster.