Costa Concordia rescue workers begin pumping 500,000 gallons of fuel out of the cruise ship wreck, which started on Sunday after delays of bad weather and rough seas.
It’s been one month since the Costa Concordia cruise ship crashed on the rocks in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the shore of Isola del Giglio, which is near Tuscany, and now the task of pumping 500,000 gallons of fuel from the wreckage has begun.
A total of 32 people lost their lives from the accident. The Dutch salvage crew company, called Smit, has attached hoses to 15 tanks onboard the ship. The crew has attached them on the top and bottom of the underwater tanks.
The top hose sucks out the fuel, which also has to be warmed so it will flow better. Then the bottom hose pumps seawater into the tank to counter balance the vacuum that is created in the tank as the fuel is sucked out.
The whole process is expected to take 28 days to complete.
“We expect the next five days to be good weather, and we will work 24 hours a day to pump out the fuel,” said Bart Huizing, Smit’s salvage master. He said operations would initially focus on the six tanks in the front part of the ship where about 62-65 percent of the fuel is located.
“Hopefully by the end of the week we will have the majority out,” he told The Associated Press in Giglio. He is referring to 6 tanks located at the front of the ship believed to contain about 62 – 85% of the ships total fuel.