Shipwrecked Concordia successfully wrested off Italian reef
GIGLIO ISLAND, Italy (AP) - Engineers on Monday succeeded in wresting the hull of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia from the Italian reef where it has been stuck since it capsized in January 2012, leaving them cautiously optimistic they can rotate the luxury liner upright and eventually tow it away.
Never before has such an enormous cruise ship been righted, and the crippled Concordia didn't budge for the first three hours after the operation began, engineer Sergio Girotto told reporters. But after some 6,000 tonnes of force were applied using a complex system of pulleys and counterweights, "we saw the detachment" from the reef thanks to undersea cameras, he said.
Mr Girotto said the cameras did not immediately reveal any sign of the two bodies that were never recovered from among the 32 who died on Jan 13, 2012 when the Concordia slammed into a reef and capsized after the ship's captain steered the luxury liner too close to Giglio Island.
Images transmitted by robotic diving vehicles indicated that the submerged side of the hull had suffered "great deformation" from all its time on the granite seabed, battered by waves and compressed under the weight of the ship's 115,000 tonnes, Mr Girotto said.