Costa Concordia salvage could begin next week

By Tom Stieghorst
Italian authorities said the operation to lift Costa Concordia off its side and onto an underwater platform could begin next week.

In a news conference in Rome, they said depending on weather and sea conditions, salvage teams are ready to make the attempt as early as Sept. 16.

A decision will be made on a day-by-day basis, emergency commissioner Franco Gabrielli said.

The process, which employs crane barges to winch the partly sunken liner upright over a period of 8 to 10 hours, is thought to be the largest salvage operation of a passenger ship ever attempted.

If the first phase is successful, Concordia would eventually be refloated and towed to port to be scrapped.

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