Costa Concordia wreck floats for first time

By admin
14 July 2014

The ship wreck of Italy's Costa Concordia, began floating today after salvage workers began pumping air into giant tanks alongside the ship's sides.

Italy's Costa Concordia cruise ship on Monday began floating on its own for the first time since it crashed in January 2012, as an unprecedented salvage operation got underway to raise it.

The ship measuring 290 metres -- the length of three football fields and twice as big as the Titanic -- is slowly being refloated on the island of Giglio to be towed away for scrapping in Genoa.

"The ship is floating," Franco Porcellacchia, the chief engineer in charge of the operation, told reporters.

"It is now about one metre off the underwater platform it was lying on," he said, adding that it would be raised another metre before being shifted towards the open sea.

Salvage workers were pumping air into giant tanks fixed to its sides to expel water and act as floating devices. The full refloating is expected to take six to seven days.

With 4,229 people from 70 countries on board, the luxury liner foundered after hitting a group of rocks just off the coast and keeled over in a tragedy that claimed 32 lives.

- SAPA

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