UK & World News
Costa Concordia: Ship Heaved Off Rocky Seabed
Efforts to right the Costa Concordia are taking longer than expected, officials involved in the recovery of the crippled cruise liner have said.
Italy's civil protection chief Franco Gabrielli said the salvage operation - one of the most complex and costly ever undertaken - would continue "into the night".
The lift, off the Italian island of Giglio where the vessel capsized 20 months ago, had been due to last only 12 hours.
However, officials said they were confident the 600 million euros (£503m) "parbuckling" operation would be wrapped up by dawn on Tuesday, at which time the vessel is expected to be back in an upright position.
The Costa Concordia capsized in shallow water after smashing into rocks, causing the chaotic evacuation of 4,200 passengers and crew and the deaths of 32 people.
The bodies of two of those who died are still missing.
The recovery of the 114,000-ton ship was put back by three hours because of bad weather, and was further delayed when four of the 56 cables being used to haul the ship upright became loose.
Salvage workers scrambled onto the floatation tanks welded to the side of ship to tighten the cables, allowing work to resume.
The Parbuckling method has been used to raise capsized vessels before, most notably by the US military to right the USS Oklahoma in 1943 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
However, the Concordia is thought to be the largest cruise ship ever to require the rotation.
Engineers are using remote controls to control a synchronised system of pulleys, counterweights and huge chains looped under the ship's hull to delicately lift the ship upright.
The large tanks attached to the exposed side of the ship will then touch the water, providing buoyancy.
About 29,000 tons of water, as well as residual fuels, heavy metals and rotten food, will pour out of the ship as it is pulled upright, although officials say the risk of an environmental damage is limited.
More than three tons of melon, eight tons of beef and 18,000 bottles of wine are among the items on board.
The Concordia's captain Francesco Schettino is on trial for alleged manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship during the evacuation.
He claimed the reef was not on the nautical charts for the liner's week-long Mediterranean cruise.