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Wednesday 30 July 2014

Italy aims to tow Concordia wreck from holiday island in June

Published 10/01/2014|12:10

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FILE - This Jan. 14, 2012 file photo shows the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia leaning on its starboard side after running aground on the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy. During a press conference in Rome on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, officials announced the shipwrecked Costa Concordia will be removed from its watery graveyard off Tuscany in June and taken to a port to be dismantled, the final phase of an unprecedented 600 million-euro ($817 million) salvage effort. The announcement came just days before the second anniversary of the Jan. 13, 2012, grounding that killed 32 people.  (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, file)
Luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia leaning on its starboard side after running aground on the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy
FILE - This Sept. 18, 2013 file photo shows the Costa Concordia cruise ship after it was lifted upright, on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. During a press conference in Rome on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, officials announced the shipwrecked Costa Concordia will be removed from its watery graveyard off Tuscany in June and taken to a port to be dismantled, the final phase of an unprecedented 600 million-euro ($817 million) salvage effort. The announcement came just days before the second anniversary of the Jan. 13, 2012, grounding that killed 32 people. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file)
Costa Concordia cruise ship after it was lifted upright, on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy
Costa Concordia: raised

The wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that capsized off the Italian holiday island of Giglio two years ago will probably be towed away by the end of June.

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The 114,500 tonne vessel, which was hauled upright in a complex operation in September, hit rocks on Jan. 13, 2012, killing 32 people.

Its captain Francesco Schettino is on trial accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship. His lawyers argue he was not the only person to blame.

"We are very confident we can remove the ship from the island within the month of June," Michael Thamm, the chief executive of Costa Crociere which owns the liner, told reporters at a news conference.

Italian officials confirmed June was the target date for towing away the ship, though some said a slight delay could not be ruled out, depending on weather conditions.

"During the next tourist season on the island the ship will be gone," Environment Minister Andrea Orlando said.

Franco Gabrielli, the man charged by the government with overseeing the salvage operations, said that if problems arose the removal might not be completed until end-July.

There was no word for the moment about where the wreck would be towed but a decision is expected in March, officials said.

Reuters

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