Raising of Concordia shipwreck postponed

Region says salvage operation must be 'followed closely'

Raising of Concordia shipwreck postponed

Florence, January 8 - Italian authorities on Friday said the wreckage of the Costa Concordia cruise liner that ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio last January would be raised later than originally planned. "The aim is to refloat the ship by the end of September 2013, with a delay of a few months, but still compatible with the approved timetable," said Tuscan Governor Enrico Rossi. The governor also expressed concern about the fate of works to remove the shipwrecked vessel once the legal oversight provided by Prefect Franco Gabrielli comes to an end on January 31. "We have urged the project to be followed closely, we have called for it not to be abandoned and Environment Minister Corrado Clini has said he agrees," Rossi added. Meanwhile the authorities on Giglio are preparing to mark the first anniversary of the cruise ship disaster that killed 32 people on January 13, 2012, as legal proceedings against Francesco Schettino, the captain at the helm of the ship, continue. He is facing possible criminal indictment for multiple charges of manslaughter. Schettino is also claiming he was wrongly dismissed by Italy's Costa Crociere cruise line over the deadly accident. A wrongful dismissal hearing continues on Wednesday, as Schettino's lawyer argues the dismissal process used by the company was not legitimate.

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