Authorities have recovered and identified the bodies of Jerry and Barbara Heil, who were among 30 people killed when a cruise ship capsized off the coast of Italy in January.
Officials say it will take days to identify most of the additional bodies found among the wreckage of the Italian cruise ship. A White Bear Lake couple is among the fifteen people unaccounted for. One of the newly-found bodies is that of a five-year-old girl.
Hundreds of people who knew Jerry and Barb Heil gathered at St. Pius the X Catholic Church in White Bear Lake Saturday morning. The Heils are among the 15 people still missing following the Italian cruise ship disaster. The Star Tribune reports the Minnesota couple was remembered for being faithful and loving.
Emergency crews in Italy called off their search for victims of a capsized cruise ship because of the dangers to rescue workers. The Associated Press reports 16 people are still listed as missing and presumed dead.
Family members of Barbara and Gerald Heil say they're disheartened by the decision to end the search of waters around the shipwrecked Costa Concordia. But they say they understand the decision. "The conditions are no longer acceptable," a fire brigade spokesman told the AFP news service.
Workers had to suspend their recovery efforts on Sunday because of bad weather and rough waves. Sixteen people, including a couple from White Bear Lake, are still missing.
But rescuers are still searching the surface, and dive teams will reevaluate the scene on Saturday morning to determine whether they can safely restart the underwater rescue. Twenty-one people are still missing, including a couple from White Bear Lake, after the cruise liner capsized off the coast of Italy.
Rescuers are wrestling with the question of when they end the rescue and begin the recovery operation, which would allow them to start pumping fuel out of the ship and potentially avert an environmental disaster. About two dozen people, including a couple from White Bear Lake, are still missing after the cruise liner capsized off the coast of Italy.
Relatives of Jerry and Barbara Heil of White Bear Lake said in a blog post they have not received any news about the whereabouts of the couple. A fund has been set up to help with the costs of searching for the pair. Rescuers temporarily suspended their search for survivors because of safety concerns.
The Church of St. Pius X is holding a 24-hour vigil for an elderly couple missing since Friday, when the cruise liner they were aboard capsized off the shore of Italy.
Friends and neighbors say they've not heard from Gerald and Barbara Heil, who were aboard a cruise ship that crashed and tipped over off the Italian coast. At least five people were killed in the accident.