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Minnesota couple identified among Costa Concordia bodies

The remains of Barbara and Gerald Heil, the only Americans who died when the Costa Concordia capsized near a Tuscan island have been identified. NBC's Claudio Lavagna reports. 

ROME -- Two bodies recovered from the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship have been formally identified as Americans Barbara and Gerald Heil from Minnesota.

The bodies were among five that were recovered in the past three weeks from the liner, which capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio after hitting rocks on January 13.


At least 30 people died and two are still unaccounted for.

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"Five bodies recovered from the Costa Concordia have been identified," said a statement from the Grosseto prefecture on Tuesday.

The other three were named as Christina Matheson Ganz and Norbert Josef Ganz, both Germans, and Giuseppe Girolamo, an Italian citizen and member of the crew.

A salvage operation to move the wreck, owned by Carnival Corp., is expected to begin next month.

NBC's Michelle Kosinski reported in January on the search and rescue operation and the missing couple.

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