Giglio Island, April 17 - Technicians worked near the sunken Costa Concordia cruise-liner Wednesday morning to begin removal of the wreckage from its spot on the Tuscan coast. In January 2012, the cruise ship hit a rock formation after an allegedly rash maneuver by captain Francesco Schettino to sail near Giglio Island to "salute" local people. Thirty-two people died in the disaster, and 4,200 passengers and crew had to be evacuated. On Wednesday, workers mounted the first of 30 projections for stabilization, alignment and lift - called "sponsons" - on the submerged part of the ship. The 395 ton flotation device arrived at Giglio Island on Tuesday, towed by a barge from the Tuscan port city Livorno. Fifteen of the hollow projections will be positioned on each side of the ship. On one side, they will be filled with water, and the hull made to rotate with the aid of steel tie rods. Once the massive wreck is aligned, the filled sponsons will be emptied to enable the wreck to float and be towed to its destination port. The sponsons vary in dimension, with the three largest weighing 500 tons and measuring 30 metres in length, 11 meters in height and 11 metres in depth. Four sponsons are ready and awaiting deployment from Livorno, while the rest are still in the process of being prepared.
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di Giovanni Pastore