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Capsized Italian cruise liner sparks call for more regulation

January 17, 2012 | 10:56 am

Costa Concordia

As hope of finding additional survivors on the half-submerged Costa Concordia wanes, a California congresswoman said the incident reinforced her belief that there's a "critical need" for more regulation of the cruise-line industry.

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), sponsor of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act and a longtime proponent for tougher regulations, said the situation with the Costa Concordia "shows that still more must be done to protect passengers."

She said the legislation, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2010, was "a major step forward in oversight of the highly unregulated cruise line industry."

PHOTOS: Cruise liner runs aground

The Sacramento-area legislator said in a statement that the law "made great strides in putting forth both physical and reporting requirements to protect cruise ship passengers from danger, and ensure crimes are reported in a timely manner."

In Italy, investigators are trying to determine what caused the incident that has left 11 dead.

The number of missing from the accident continued to vary wildly as reports from Germany, France and Italy of missing relatives forced local authorities to revise their count. On Tuesday morning, at least 24 people were said to be missing, including two Americans.

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-- Rick Rojas in Los Angeles and Sarah Delaney in Rome

Photo: The Costa Concordia after the cruise ship ran aground. Credit: Filippo Monteforte / AFP/Getty Images

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