An Italian judge ordered on Tuesday that the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, Francesco Schettino, be held under house arrest, Ansa news agency reported.
Grosseto Magistrate Valeria Montesarchio made the decision after a day of questioning, in which Schettino confirmed he was steering the cruise liner when it ran aground off Italy’s coast.
“It was me who was in command of the ship,” Francesco Schettino was quoted by Italian media as saying to prosecutors in Grosseto, where an investigation into the accident was taking place.
Meanwhile, officials said the confirmed death toll had risen to 11 after five more bodies — those of one woman and four men — were found on the wreck, which capsized late Friday near Giglio, a tiny island off Italy’s western shore.
Schettino, who has been held in police custody since Saturday, has been blamed by the ship’s owner, Costa Crociere, for changing the course of the liner, which had 4,200 people on board, and steering it dangerously close to Giglio — possibly to salute a colleague and tourists gathered by the water.
He faces charges of multiple manslaughter and of abandoning the ship, and could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison if convicted.