Costa Concordia clean-up crew to drain polluted water

'We must decontaminate before we can right ship'

Costa Concordia clean-up crew to drain polluted water

Florence, January 11 - Authorities are evaluating how to drain the Costa Concordia shipwreck of 230,000 cubic meters of water, which may be contaminated with hydrocarbons, heavy metals and decomposed food, authorities said Friday. "Monitoring the internal waters is the first step towards towing, rotating and floating the ship," Concordia Emergency Observatory President Maria Sargentini told reporters. "The idea is to prevent the internal water from making contact with the outside environment". Over the past month, the Observatory has carried out chemical tests on 56 samples from within the ship, plus another 25 tests that showed pollutants are present. "The objective is to decontaminate polluted areas before we right the ship," said environmental ministry official Siro Corezzi. "Whether we drain it partially or in whole, the pollutants will be neutralized first". The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Tuscany's Giglio Island on the night of January 13, 2012, causing 32 fatalities.

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