(2:50 p.m. EDT) -- The Italian government has given salvage operators the go-ahead to raise Costa Concordia via a procedure known as parbuckling. The operation will occur this month, pending successful inspections of all structures necessary, as well as the completion of any needed preliminary activities.
Permission was granted Friday at a meeting in Rome attended by members of the Civil Protection Department and Emergency Commissioner Franco Gabrielli. The Emergency Commissioner's office expects to release the date of the parbuckling operation late next week.
Two salvage companies are responsible for raising the ship, which has been lying half-submerged in the waters off of the Italian island of Giglio since it hit a rock January 2012.
Costa Concordia hit a rock off the coast of the Italian island January 13, 2012. Several hours later, the ship capsized; 32 passengers and crew perished in the tragedy.