Italian Island Residents Concerned After Shipwreck Disaster

Posted January 30th, 2012 at 10:50 am (UTC-5)
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Residents of the Italian island of Giglio say they are concerned about possible environmental damage from the wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia.

Residents Monday called for an island-wide meeting to discuss how to protect their interests ahead of the upcoming tourist season after being told Sunday that it may take until the end of the year before the capsized cruise ship can be removed.

Italian officials say they cannot start to move the damaged vessel until all the fuel has been removed — a process that takes about a month.

The ship then may have to be cut into pieces and hauled away. They say this could take as long as 10 months because of weather and other unforeseen conditions.

Experts suspended pumping the remaining fuel and rescue teams put off searching for more bodies Sunday when tides and waves caused the ship to move.

A total of 17 bodies have been recovered and 15 people remain missing.

The Costa Concordia hit a reef and capsized two weeks ago off the coast of northern Italy. Authorities say Captain Francesco Schettino was sailing too close to shore. He is under house arrest facing charges of manslaughter and abandoning his ship before all the passengers found safety.