Rescuers blast holes in stricken ship off Italy

 Italian naval divers on Tuesday exploded holes in the hull of a cruise ship grounded off a Tuscan island to speed the search for 29 missing people while seas were still calm. One official said there was still a "glimmer of hope" that survivors could be found.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, prepared to question the captain, who is accused of causing the wreck that left at least six dead and abandoning the Costa Concordia before all 4,200 people onboard were safely evacuated after the vessel capsized Friday night.
Navy spokesman Alessandro Busonero told Sky TV 24 the holes will help divers enter the wreck more easily. "We are rushing against time," he said.
The divers set four microcharges above and below the surface of the water, Busonero said. Television footage showed one hole above the waterline to be less than two meters (6 feet) in diameter.
"The hope is that the ship is empty and that the people are somewhere else, or if they are inside that they found a safe place to await rescue," Coast Guard spokesman Filippo Marini told Sky TV 24
The cruiseliner tragedy also has turned into a potential environmental crisis, with rough seas battering the stricken ship raising fears that fuel might leak into pristine waters off Giglio that are part of a sanctuary for dolphins, porpoises and whales.
Waters were relatively calm Tuesday with waves of just 30 centimeters, but they were expected to reach 1.8 meters Wednesday, according to meteorological forecasts.

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