Costa Concordia refloated before being hauled away for scrap
The shipwrecked Costa Concordia has been successfully refloated in preparation to be towed away for scrapping, 30 months after it struck a reef and capsized, killing 32 people.
Authorities expressed satisfaction that the operation to float the Concordia from an underwater platform had proceeded without a hitch.
Technicians were preparing to shift it some 30 meters and then anchor the massive cruise ship before ending the day's operations.
The entire operation to remove the Concordia from the reef and float it to Genova, where it will be scrapped, will cost a total of €1.5bn, Costa Crociere SpA CEO Michael Tamm told reporters.
The heavily-listing ship was dragged upright in a daring manoeuvre last September, and then crews fastened huge tanks to its flanks to float it. Towing is set to begin July 21.
It's about 320km to Genova and the trip is expected to take five days.
"The operation (Monday) began well, but it will be completed only when we have finished the transport to Genova," Italian Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti said.
Concordia's Italian captain, Francesco Schettino, is being tried in Tuscany for manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship before all were evacuated.
The ship hit a reef near the island of Giglio in January 2012 and capsized.
He denies the charges, which could see him jailed for up to 20 years.