GIGLIO, Italy - The Costa Concordia was floating again on Monday, thanks to a delicate project aimed at towing the shipwrecked cruise liner to the scrapyard. The vessel -- which went down after hitting rocks off the coast of Italian resort island Giglio in January 2012, killing 32 people -- had been raised by more than three feet by 7:30 a.m. ET. Before it can be towed away, the Concordia will have to be raised by about 40 feet.
Thirty giant hollowed steel tanks were fitted to the ship's sides, which were later filled with water. Experts say there is a real risk that the ship's hull will crack open and spill out a toxic soup made of rotten food, chemicals and debris as it is being raised. If the first re-floating is successful, the ship will be moved around 30 yards to the east by tugboats. In the coming days, a pneumatic system will slowly pump the water out of the tanks, creating air pockets that will give the ship buoyancy.
- Claudio Lavanga
First published July 14 2014, 2:30 AM