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Ship may have had unlisted passengers

Unregistered passengers might have been aboard the stricken cruise liner that capsized off this Tuscan island, a top rescue official said Sunday, raising the possibility that the number of missing people might be higher than previously announced.

Divers, meanwhile, pulled out a woman's body from the capsized Costa Concordia on Sunday, raising to 13 the number of people killed in the Jan. 13 accident.

Civil protection official Francesca Maffini told reporters the victim was wearing a life vest and was found in the rear of a submerged portion of the ship by a team of fire department divers.

Earlier, Italian authorities raised the possibility that the real number of missing people was unknown because some unregistered passengers might have been aboard. As of Sunday, 19 people are listed as missing.

"There could have been [an unknown number of] persons who we don't know about who were inside, who were clandestine" passengers aboard the ship, Franco Gabrielli, the national civil protection official in charge of the rescue effort, told reporters at a briefing on the island of Giglio, where the ship, with 4,200 people aboard, rammed a reef and sliced open its hull Jan. 13 before turning over on its side.

Gabrielli said relatives of a Hungarian woman have told Italian authorities that she had telephoned them from aboard the ship and that they haven't heard from her since the accident. He said it was possible that a woman's body pulled from the wreckage by divers Saturday might be that of the unregistered passenger.

But one of Concordia's officers, who's recovering from a broken leg suffered during the evacuation, dismissed the allegation that such passengers were on the ship.

"Everyone is registered and photographed. Everything's electronic," the Italian news agency ANSA quoted Manrico Giampedroni as saying.

Authorities are trying to identify five corpses that are badly decomposed after spending a long time in the water.

Gabrielli said they have identified the other eight bodies: four French, an Italian, a Hungarian, a German and a Spanish national.

The missing include French passengers, an elderly American couple, an Italian father with his 5-year-old daughter, a Peruvian crewwoman and an Indian crewman. Some of their relatives were briefed by rescuers Sunday and met with Pierluigi Foschi, the CEO of Costa Crociere SpA -- the ship's operator -- who viewed the crippled liner from a boat.

France's ambassador to Italy, Alain Le Roy, recounted Foschi's visit.

"He came to see the families, all families. He met the French family. He met the American family. I am sure he is meeting other families, mostly to express his compassion to say that Costa will do everything possible to find the people, to compensate families in any way."

Coast guard and rescue teams have said the search will last as long as the weather holds and the ship is stable.