Costa Concordia Removal Delayed Until Next Year

July 13, 2013

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(3:00 p.m. EDT) -- The removal of Costa Concordia may be delayed until next year, according to a report in an Italian newspaper.

Franco Gabrielli, commissioner for the Costa Concordia emergency, told the RAI programme in an interview Friday the group needs more information from Titan Micoperi Consortium, the company responsible for the cleanup effort, reported.

"If they do not provide us with a whole range of assurances, the ship will remain in its current condition until next year when the weather conditions will permit rotating it back on its axis in absolute safety," Gabrielli said in an interview.

"Despite the number of times the engineers have made simulations and hypotheses, we do not know the degree to which rocks have penetrated the side, what types of gashes they made and what the real conditions of the structure are, and thus the type of intervention they should undertake to allocate the caissons necessary to make the whole ship floatable."

The news comes just ahead of the trial of Captain Francisco Schettino next week, who is facing a number of charges, including multiple manslaughter and abandoning ship, following the accident on January 13, 2012 in which 32 passengers died. If found guilty, he faces up to 20 years in jail.
--by Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor