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Expert: shipwreck off Italy must be removed soon

April 14, 2014

ROME (AP) — An Italian official is pressing for the speedy removal of the shipwrecked cruise liner, the Costa Concordia, warning that the hulk may break up in winter storms.

Franco Gabrielli, head of the removal efforts, told residents of the tiny Mediterranean island of Giglio on Monday that the ship must be towed by September at the latest. Gabrielli says another winter’s worth of storms may damage the ship to such an extent that towing won’t be possible.

He pressed various national, regional and local authorities to move forward on plans. The port where it will be towed has yet to be selected.

The Concordia rammed a reef off Giglio in January 2012 and capsized, killing 32 people. Its captain is being tried on manslaughter and other charges.

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