One month after the sinking of the "costa concordia", the pumping out of the oil from the ship’s tanks has begun. The work was brought forward from monday to sunday because the weather had improved, the authorities announced on sunday evening. The tanks contain more than 2300 tons of fuel, mainly environmentally harmful heavy oil. Preparations for pumping out the water have been underway for weeks, but bad weather always put a spoke in the wheel of the salvage experts from the dutch company smit.
The pumping is expected to take about 28 days, weather permitting. The start of the work is the first concrete sign of the commitment of authorities and companies to protect the island of giglio from environmental damage, it hailed in an official statement.
Italy’s president giorgio napolitano meanwhile expressed his deep regret over the accident at a memorial service in rome. "It was a tragedy," he said in rome on sunday. The head of state assured the victims’ relatives of his solidarity and praised the work of rescuers and divers. They had done everything possible to save survivors and recover the dead.
The "costa concordia" was on the 13. January with more than 4200 people on board hit a rock off the tuscan island of giglio and capsized. 17 bodies recovered so far. 15 people still missing, including six germans. Accused is the captain of the ship.
Over the weekend, a previously unknown video emerged that, according to media reports, documents the chaos on the command bridge of the leaked ship. "The passengers board the lifeboats on their own", is heard in the film. "Alright", answers a calm sounding voice that the news program TG5 of the TV channel canale 5 assigned to captain schettino. The prosecutor’s office now wants to use the video for the investigation, he said.
Cardinal angelo bagnasco urged at memorial service that the full truth about the disaster must still come out and justice be done. "This is necessary to heal the wounds and restore confidence."Bagnasco, president of the italian bishops’ conference, thanked both the rescuers and the inhabitants of giglio who had taken in survivors after the accident. "In them we recognize the deep soul of our nation, rich in intelligence and heart"."
Captain francesco schettino remains under house arrest. The 52-year-old is accused, among other things, of multiple involuntary manslaughter and abandonment of the ship during the night evacuation.