A stricken Italian cruise liner shifted on its rocky resting place yesterday as worsening weather disrupted an increasingly despairing hunt for survivors. Meanwhile, authorities raised their estimate of the number missing to 29 people.

As the Costa Concordia’s owners blamed their captain for veering shoreward on Friday in a bravura “salute” to residents of a Tuscan island, the giant ship slid a little, threatening to plunge its whole gigantic carcass and 2,300 tons of fuel below the Mediterranean waters of the surrounding nature reserve.

The slippage forced rescuers to briefly suspend their efforts to find anyone still alive after three days in the capsized hull, resting on a jagged slope outside the picturesque harbor on the island of Giglio. Six bodies have been found. Most of the 4,200 passengers and crew survived, despite hours of chaos.

An Italian coastguard official said the number of people missing had been revised up to 29 — 25 passengers and four members of staff — from 16, showing how much uncertainty still surrounded the disaster.

Investigators say the ship was far too close to the shore. The captain, who the ship’s owners said carried out the rash maneuver to "make a bow" to people on the island, has been arrested. The skipper denies charges of manslaughter.


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