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January 26, 2012

Finding cruise ship survivors would be a miracle, says rescue officials

The Associated Press via The Dayton Daily News

GIGLIO, Italy — It would take a "miracle" to find survivors 12 days after the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia, the Italian official leading rescue operations said Wednesday.

"The time that has passed and the prevailing conditions make one think that finding someone alive would be a miracle," said Italy's Civil Protection Services chief Franco Gabrielli.

"But we will not stop (searching) until the whole ship has been inspected," Gabrielli added, speaking at a news conference on Giglio island.

On Tuesday the death toll from the Jan. 13 accident - which happened after the ship ran aground after coming too close to the island of Giglio - rose to 16 when divers found the body of a woman in the half-sunken vessel's third bridge.

Around 20 people remain unaccounted for, including two Americans, Barbara and Gerald Heil from Minnesota.

More than 4,000 passengers and crew were aboard the ship at the time of the accident.

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