No. It could not.
I read "Fatal Voyage: The Wrecking of the Costa Concordia" by John Hooper this morning. I was utterly flabbergasted by this (my italics):
By the time the search was called off, on february 1, the number of confirmed deaths in the wreck of the Costa Concordia was 17. In addition, though, 15 people were missing. ...What. The. Fuck.
It might almost be said that the number of the missing was one higher, since the box containing the remains of Sandra Rodgers' husband, Barry, was still aboard the wreck. "It's dreadful, but his ashes were lost aboard the Concordia," his widow said.
Yeah, I'm sure that (for example) the woman whose husband and five-year-old daughter are missing think that a box of cremains is an equal loss. I mean, I'm sure that losing the ashes (that she was planning on scattering over the Mediterranean anyway, but whatever) is a wrench. But to even suggest that it's a loss on a par with actual living people ...
Words fail me.