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Paris prosecutor to probe Italian cruise grounding

PARIS (AP) – The Paris prosecutor has opened a preliminary investigation into the grounding of the Costa Concordia cruise ship off the Italian coast.

The prosecutor’s office said Thursday that it has asked the gendarmerie to investigate claims filed in France. The Ministry of Justice had already asked the Paris office to handle all of the complaints, regardless of where they were originally filed.

More than 450 French nationals were aboard the Concordia when it ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio after the captain deviated from his planned route and struck a reef. Four French nationals died and two others are among the missing.

The captain has been accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship before all those aboard were evacuated.

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