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GIGLIO, Italy - Salvage crews worked through the night on the delicate mission to recover the Costa Concordia off the Italian island of Giglio, officials said Tuesday. The cruise ship, which capsized in January 2012 killing 32 people, is the subject of the biggest salvage operation in maritime history. It was successfully raised off the seabed Monday using 30 giant tanks fitted to its sides and filled with water. It needs to be raised 40 feet before it can be towed to the scrapyard. The project’s chief engineer Franco Porcellacchia told a press conference Tuesday that this was due to be completed by next Monday.

Experts say there is a risk the ship's hull could crack open and spill out a toxic soup of rotten food, chemicals and debris. But Porcellacchia, director of technical operations with Costa Cruises, said crews "haven't seen any signs of leaks around the ship." He added: "We also checked the seabed under the ship with [an underwater robot] and it's in a good condition."


- Claudio Lavanga and Alexander Smith