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Costa Concordia could take 10 months to remove, search delayed

Costa Concordia search for survivors is delayed due to rough seas and strong winds

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The stricken cruise liner Costa Concordia (background) is seen from the village while lying aground in front of the Isola del Giglio (Giglio island) on Jan. 23, 2012 after hitting underwater rocks on Jan. 13. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)

Costa Concordia officials temporarily called off the search for survivors and the start of efforts to remove 500,000 gallons of fuel, the Telegraph reported.

Divers suspended their search after strong winds and rough seas made conditions too difficult. Authorities said the ship had shifted noticeably, about an inch and a half over six hours.

Italian officials said the cruise ship could remain near the Tuscan island of Giglio until the end of the year before it can be broken up or salvaged,  Reuters reported.

Civil Protection agency chief Franco Gabrielli, who is in charge of the operation, said that it could take another 7-10 months before the vessel is finally removed:
 

"We already knew that this was a very long, drawn out case but I think it's important that everyone is very aware that it will have a very significant timeframe," said Gabrielli.

On Saturday, rescue workers found a 17th body, identified as Peruvian crew member Erika Soria Molina.

More from GlobalPost: Costa Concordia death toll reaches 17

Divers have been scouring the site since the massive liner hit rocks and rolled onto its side near an island off of Italy’s Tuscan coast on Jan. 13, with more than 4,200 people aboard.

Fifteen people remain missing, according to the BBC.

More from GlobalPost: Costa Concordia cruise ship passengers offered payout
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/italy/120129/costa-concordia-will-take-10-months-remove-search-delayed