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Italy Ends Search Minnesotans Missing in Shipwreck

Laura Lezza, Getty Images

GIGLIO, Italy (AP) – Italian emergency officials say they are calling off a search for a Minnesota couple and other missing people in the submerged part of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, due to the danger to rescue workers.

Italy’s Civil Protection agency said Tuesday that technical studies indicated that the deformed hull of the ship created too many safety concerns to continue the search. It said in a statement that relatives and diplomatic officials representing the countries of the missing have been informed of the decision.

The Concordia ran aground off the island of Giglio on Jan. 13 when the captain deviated from his planned route and struck a reef, creating a huge gash that capsized the ship.

Seventeen bodies have been recovered, of which one has not yet been identified. Sixteen people are listed as missing, including Jerry and Barbara Heil of White Bear Lake, Minn.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved)

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