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Storm delays huge operation to raise Costa Concordia

Italian engineers are expected to begin the operation this morning with flotation tanks to be attached to the underwater side of the vessel.

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A FIERCE STORM has delayed the start of a daring bid to raise upright the Costa Concordia cruise ship which capsized off the coast of Italy in 2012.

Italy’s Civil Protection chief Franco Gabrielli said the storm, which hit Giglio Island early this morning hadn’t been forecast. The storm delayed the positioning close to the shipwreck of a barge carrying a remote control room where engineers will work using pulleys and counterweights to delicately nudge the Concordia free from its rocky seabed perch outside the harbor.

image(Engineers will begin raising the stricken ship this morning after a storm delayed plans. Pics: (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Flotation tanks will be attached to the side that is currently under water like the ones already welded to its exposed side. The tanks will then be emptied of water to act as flotation devices before the ship is towed away to be scrapped in a port that is yet to be determined.

The Concordia crashed into a reef in January 2012, killing 32 people. The raising operation was planned to start again at 8 a.m. local time.

Read: Italian court jails five over Costa Concordia ship disaster >

Read: Here’s how the Costa Concordia wreck is being removed >

PHOTOS: One year later, Costa Concordia still not removed from scene of disaster >

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Associated Press

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