Hundreds of survivors, victims' families, and lawyers of the wreck of the cruise ship Costa Concordia united on Saturday in Grosseto, Italy, for the first evidence hearing in the criminal investigation against the ship's captain and other staff, the New York Times said.
The hearing had to move from the courthouse to a 1,000-seat theater due to the large attendance. More than 50 lawyers were at the hearing on Saturday and more than 4,230 people are considered parties in the case, the New York Times said.
The giant cruise ship hit a rock off the Tuscan island of Giglio on January 13, tearing a gash in the hull and partly sank the ship, the New York Times said.
From the 4,234 passengers and crew, 17 people are declared dead and another 15 are still missing, Barbie Latza Nadeau said in the Daily Beast.
Saturday's hearing is directed towards analyzing the ship's recording devices to help pinpoint the exact order of events and procedures taken by the captain and crew.
Francesco Schettino, the former captain of the Costa Concordia, is under house arrest on preliminary charges of manslaughter, neglecting to report the accident to port authorities, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship before passengers were taken to safety, the New York Times said.
Captain Schettino, along with eight other employees of Costa Cruises are under investigation, the New York Times said.