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Costa Concordia fuel-pumping process begins

Plans to empty the cruise ship’s fuel tanks were first delayed by the search and rescue operation for victims and then by bad weather.

Image: Pier Paolo Cito/AP/Press Association Images

AUTHORITIES IN ITALY say pumping operations have begun to remove some of the 500,000 gallons of fuel aboard the Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground off Tuscany last month.

The civil protection department says the fuel extraction operation started Sunday afternoon nearly a month after the Costa Concordia slammed into a reef and capsized off the tiny island of Giglio.

Plans to empty the Concordia’s fuel tanks were delayed first by the search and rescue operation and then by nearly two weeks of bad weather. A fuel leak would be disastrous for the pristine waters around Giglio, which are part of a protected maritime sanctuary.

Seventeen people died in the 13 January grounding and 15 remain missing, presumed dead.

Read more about the Costa Condcordia>

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