Italian officials have permanently called off the search for bodies aboard Costa Concordia - the conditions inside have became too dangerous for the divers.

"We have definitively stopped the underwater search inside the ship," a spokesman for the fire brigade on the island of Giglio was quoted as saying by AFP.

A total of 17 bodies have been recovered, and 15 people remain missing.

The captain, Francesco Schettino, remains under house arrest facing charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship.