Europe

Work begins to prep Italian shipwreck for removal

ROME (AP) — The last major stage of work has begun to ready the shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner for removal to land for scrapping.

On Monday, a first tank — the biggest and heaviest of 19 — was fastened to the starboard side. The tanks will be filled with water to help stabilize the Concordia, now resting on an artificial seabed after a daring engineering operation set it upright in September. The liner capsized off the Italian island of Giglio in 2012 after striking a reef. Thirty-two people died. The ship's captain is being tried on manslaughter and other charges.

Eventually, the tanks will be drained and function like giant water wings to help float away the Concordia. Authorities must decide soon if the ship will be scrapped in Italy or abroad.

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