Rome

Costa Concordia being secured for missing-victims search

After righting of the ship, work begins on safety and stability

Costa Concordia being secured for missing-victims search

Rome, September 18 - Work began Wednesday on the wrecked Costa Concordia to create safe conditions to search for the bodies of two victims who have remained missing since the mammoth cruise ship went down in one of Italy's largest maritime disasters January 2012, killing 32. The search for passenger Maria Grazia Tricarichi and crew member Russel Rebello will begin at the earliest on Thursday. Relatives of both victims arrived at the crash site at Tuscany's Giglio Island on Tuesday. The ship's carcass must also be winterized - in essence stabilized - in order to withstand cold weather to be floated and hauled away come the warm season next year, Italy's Civil Protection Chief Franco Gabrielli said in the margins of a press conference Wednesday. A salvage crew from the Italian-US consortium Micoperi-Titan succeeded in righting the ship and resting it on an undersea platform in an unprecedented 19-hour operation ending 4:00am Tuesday. The righting of the liner now makes search for the missing victims possible.

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