Five more bodies have been recovered two months after the Costa Concordia hit rocks off the Italian coast.
A total of 30 bodies have now been found since the vessel ran aground off the island of Giglio on January 13.
The Costa Concordia was carrying 4,200 passengers and crew when its hull was torn open by rocks. The six week task of extracting fuel from the stricken vessel is due to be completed tonight (Friday).
Six working plans to remove the wreck submitted by a deadline of March 3 are currently being evaluated. A shortlist is being drawn up and the best plan will be selected and announced in early to mid-April, Costa Cruises said.
The operation will take up to a year to complete as it is described as being “particularly complex”. Parent company Carnival Corporation has already written off the ship as a total loss.
Referring to the oil pumping process, Costa president Gianni Onorato said: “After the tragic incident involving the Costa Concordia we took immediate action in order to guarantee the least possible environmental impact and protect the environment of Giglio and the island’s economy and tourism industry.
“The reliability and expertise of our company are shown by the professionalism with which we manage projects like this one.”
He added: “I wish to reiterate that the Costa Concordia incident was a one-off freak event, extremely serious but unrepeatable, and I wish to express our condolences to the families of the victims and our closeness to all the people who suffered because of this incident.
“We are confident that the next stage of the salvage operation, which will be more complex, will be handled with the same team spirit that has emerged to date and that this will lead to the same positive result that is our common goal.”
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