ABOVE: Final preparations are being made ahead of Monday’s operation to finally tow away the Costa Concordia. Mandy Clark reports.
The shipwrecked Costa Concordia liner has been successfully re-floated in preparation to be towed away for scrapping.
That comes 30 months after it struck a reef and capsized, killing 32 people.
Authorities expressed satisfaction that the operation to float the Concordia from an underwater platform had come off without a hitch.
Engineers set the Concordia upright in a 19-hour operation in September. Crews fastened huge tanks — called sponsons — to its flanks like water wings to float it off underwater platforms for towing to Genoa on the mainland, where it will be dismantled.
Here’s a look at some remaining questions—and what happens next— after the shipwrecked Costa Concordia liner is successfully refloated in preparation to be towed away for scrapping.
Were all the bodies recovered?
Thirty-two people were killed in the tragic accident. The body of one man—Indian waiter Russel Rebello—remains unaccounted for.
When is towing set to begin and how long will it take?
Towing is set to begin July 21. It’s about 200 nautical miles (320 kilometres) to Genova and the trip is expected to take five days.
How much will it cost?
The entire operation to remove the Concordia from the reef and float it to Genova, where it will be scrapped, will cost a total of 1.5 billion euros, Costa Crociere SpA CEO Michael Tamm told reporters.
According to the cruise line Costa Crociere, the salvage operation contributed some 765 million euros to the Italian economy.
What happened to the captain of the ship?
Capt. Francesco Schettino is currently on trial for alleged manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship before all the passengers had been evacuated.
He says he is innocent and that he saved lives with the ship’s final manoeuvres.
© Shaw Media and the Associated Press, 2014