Rome

Concordia needs to be righted before winter - undersecretary

Otherwise removal is in danger, says Cirillo

Concordia needs to be righted before winter - undersecretary

Rome, August 1 - The semi-submerged Costa Concordia needs to be righted before the winter or the ship's removal from the Tuscan island of Giglio will be in danger, Environment Undersecretary Flavio Cirillo said Thursday. The Concordia has been lying off the island since the January 2012 disaster that claimed 32 lives. Civil Protection Department head Franco Gabrielli said in June that he hoped the ship could be righted from its current position this September and be towed away from the Island of Giglio waters by November or March. But last month Gabrielli said operations could be frozen until next year unless the wreckage outfit responsible for the massive salvage job provides a slew of new clarifications. Cirillo believes this could be problematic. He told the Lower House's environment committee that the whole removal operation would be at "risk" if the Concordia stayed another winter where it is. Cirillo cited experts from the Titan Micoperi Consortium, which has been tasked by Costa Cruises to remove the ship's carcass.

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