Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- The wreck of the cruise liner Costa Concordia will take as long as 10 months to remove as bad weather halted an operation to unload fuel from the vessel, said the civil protection agency.
Carnival Corp.’s Costa Concordia, which hit rocks and capsized on Jan. 13 just hours after leaving port near Rome with 4,200 passengers, is carrying 500,000 gallons of fuel. Oil removal operations may take at least 28 days, Coast Guard Admiral Ilarione Dell’Anna said on Jan. 23.
Rescue operations to find 16 missing people resumed today in the submerged part of the vessel. Divers had to suspend operations yesterday because the ship shifted by 4 centimeters. Italian search teams found a body on Jan. 28, raising the death toll to 17.
“It will be a long operation but we need to make sure the holiday season won’t be ruined,” Mayor of Giglio Sergio Ortelli said on SkyTG24.
Miami-based Carnival’s Italian unit reached a damage- settlement agreement with consumer groups last week as the company was sued in Miami and Chicago. Insurance costs for the accident may reach $1 billion once environmental damage and injuries are tallied, Moody’s Investors Service said Jan. 23. Most of the losses will be incurred by reinsurers, Moody’s said.
Genoa-based Costa Crociere agreed to pay 11,000 euros ($14,500) to every passenger of the cruise, plus reimburse expenses including the cost of the cruise. Concordia’s Captain Francesco Schettino was placed under house arrest on Jan. 17 for allegedly causing the wreck and abandoning the ship. Bruno Leporatti, Schettino’s lawyer, has said the captain didn’t abandon the ship and wrote in a Jan. 16 statement that his actions saved many lives.
--With assistance from Tommaso Ebhardt in Milan. Editors: Tim Farrand, Peter Woodifield
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