2013 Jul 19

Costa Concordia hull slowly sinking into sea

Reports say underwater explorations have revealed that the shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner is slowly sinking into the sea, complicating efforts to remove it from the coastline of the Italian island of Giglio.

The Costa Concordia hit a reef and ran aground off Giglio on 13 January last year after it was steered dangerously close to the coast, killing 32 of its 4 229 passengers.

Eighteen months on, the vessel is still lying sideways near the island.

It is sinking further because its hull - damaged by the accident and weakened by rust - is collapsing under the weight of the ship.

Owners Costa Crociere recently admitted that removing the Costa Concordia was proving more costly and complicated than anticipated, much to the chagrin of Giglio residents, who regard the wreck as an eyesore and a threat to tourism.

Experts are planning to right the ship in September, inspect the damage to the hidden starboard side and then start work on refloating the hull, before towing it to the mainland for dismantling.

The project might take several months.

Separately, a court in Grosseto, central Italy, admitted new onboard video evidence from the night of the accident.

It happened on the second day of the trial against captain Francesco Schettino, who face multiple charges, including manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning his vessel.


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