Codacons would file the suit against Costa Cruises

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Facing a class-action lawsuit in the US, The company operating a cruise ship that ran aground off Italy. Italy's consumer association Codacons and two US law firms told the BBC they would file the suit against Costa Cruises on behalf of the passengers.

For each passenger on the ship, they want at least $160,000 (£105,000). Meanwhile officials say the search for 21 people still missing after the disaster will continue until the whole ship has been searched.

In dry parts of the Costa Concordia, the rescue operation continued overnight. Divers are now going into submerged parts at depths of up to 14m with explosives to open up previously unsearched areas.

At a rate of a few millimetres per hour, reports say the grounded vessel is shifting. The BBC's Louisa Baldini on the nearby island of Giglio says there is a real fear that it may topple off the rocky shelf where it is currently sitting. Fuel tanks could rupture threatening one of the most unspoilt parts of the Mediterranean, if it slips into deeper water.