Italy: Concordia raises concerns for environmental group

Wrecked Costa cruise ship 'creating a national emergency'

16 August, 22:41

    The partially submerged Concordia cruise ship The partially submerged Concordia cruise ship
    (ANSA) - GROSSETO - The partially submerged Costa Concordia cruise ship has been left off the coast of Tuscany for far too long and is becoming a national emergency, an Italian environmental group said Friday. Legambiente accused government agencies of playing games with what threatens to be an environmental disaster as the massive cruise ship, which sunk in January 2012 killing 32 people, remains on the rocks around Giglio Island. "581 days, the Concordia is still here," read a 12-meter-long banner upheld by protesters aboard a ship off the island Friday. Authorities have extended the deadline several times for the safe removal of the ship and Legambiente suggested the delays are dangerous. "We are seriously concerned," said group president Vittorio Cogliati Dezza. "We are faced with a real national emergency that seems ignored by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport". Earlier this month, Italy's Environment undersecretary warned that the semi-submerged vessel needs to be at least righted before the winter, or the ship's removal from Giglio will be in danger. In June, Civil Protection Department head Franco Gabrielli said that he hoped the ship could be righted from its current position this September and be towed away from Giglio waters by November or March. But last month, Gabrielli warned that operations could be frozen until next year unless the wreckage outfit responsible for the massive salvage job provides a slew of new clarifications.
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