The Costa Concordia's 'Clandestine' Passengers Make Missing Counts Very Difficult

The discovery of two more bodies in the wreckage of the Costa Concordia today brings the death toll to 15 and brings the missing count to 17--numbers that might not mean much considering there are reports now that there may have been several unregistered passengers on board.

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The discovery of two more bodies in the wreckage of the Costa Concordia today brings the death toll to 15 and brings the missing count to 17--numbers that might not mean much considering there are now reports that there may have been several unregistered passengers on board. Reuters reports that the unidentified bodies "are of two women, and they were found near the Internet cafe on the fourth deck."

Officially the number of the missing is now 17. Since the crash, the number of missing has seemingly hovered in the 20's, though the actual figure has been a point of conflict due to the possibility of unregistered passengers, reports The New York Times. Having an unknown number of unregistered passengers, in addition to the 4,229 people on board makes official estimates (and survivor math) very difficult. "There could have been X persons whom we don’t know about, who were inside, who were 'clandestine' passengers, Franco Gabrielli, the national civil protection official in charge of the rescue effort, told reporters at a briefing on Giglio Island, explaining the blurry and at times conflicting accounts of the number missing. His spokeswoman added that some of these secret passengers could have been guests of the crew who were invited at the last minute. Costa Cruises, which owns the Costa Concordia, has denied the allegations.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.