Fears of 'toxic soup' as Concordia reclaimed
A TOXIC soup of rotting food, chemicals and other debris is expected to spew out of the Costa Concordia when the cruise ship is hauled upright today.
There are fears the operation could pollute the pristine waters of Giglio, the Italian island where the ship capsized in January last year. The Concordia was beginning a week-long cruise in the Mediterranean when it capsized and its larders and freezers were packed to capacity for its 4,200 passengers and crew.
Trapped inside the upturned hull are more than 24,000lbs of fish; nearly 5,500lbs of cheese; 1,500 gallons of ice cream in tubs; 24,000lbs of pasta; 2,000lbs of onions; more than 2,000 pots of jam and nearly 17,000 tea bags. Also rotting beneath the waterline are more than 17,000lbs of raw beef; nearly 11,000 eggs; 2,346 hot-dog buns, 815lbs of rabbit meat and more than 1,000 gallons of milk.
In addition to the rotting food, there are oils, lubricants and other chemicals, including 65 gallons of paint and 10 gallons of insecticide.
The bodies of a middle-aged Italian woman and an Indian waiter were also never recovered and may be inside the Concordia.
The ship is lying at an acute angle and it was considered not possible to try to extract the food stuffs and other materials as divers, engineers and other experts worked to prepare the salvage operation.
After living with what one newspaper called "the white whale" at the entrance to Giglio's main port for 20 months, islanders are praying the salvage operation goes according to plan. (© Daily Telegraph)