Italian authorities have announced that the removal of fuel from the stricken cruise liner Costa Concordia has been completed, according to The Associated Press.
Authorities had feared an environmental disaster after the ship ran aground on Jan 13, resulting in the deaths of 32 people. More than 2,000 tons of fuel and sewage have since been removed.
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CNN reported yesterday that the bodies of five people had been recovered from the wreck. This reduces the number of those unaccounted for to two.
Euronews produced this video segment on the recovery of bodies this week from the ship:
According to the Press Association, the removal of the shipwreck itself is expected to take a year but Costa Crociere, the company which operated the ship, is currently evaluating bids for this job.
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The Agenzia Giornalistica Italia news agency reported yesterday that planning to remove the wreck is underway. Once it is concluded, the contractor Smit Salvage and Tito Neri, both contractors hired by Costa Crociere, will begin clearing sea-floor debris for one to two months.
That operation will involve eight vessels, including ships with water purification equipment, according to AGI