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Weather worries hit Italian cruise ship recovery

Weather worries hit Italian cruise ship recovery
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Concerns of approaching bad weather are hampering efforts to salvage the stricken Italian liner Costa Concordia.

A week after running aground off the Tuscan coast, the vast wreck of the cruise ship has shifted on its undersea ledge endangering further search operations.

Nicola Casagli, the professor supervising the delicate instruments that measure the vessel’s movement, says it is only moving a few millimetres an hour, but it is enough to complicate the work of divers.

The worst case scenario would be if the ship slides off the rocky shelf on which it is lying and disappears into much deeper waters off the island of Giglio. For now, officials say such a scenario is very far off.

But plans to pump out oil to prevent an environmental disaster are in jeopardy. Salvage crews are waiting until the search for survivors and bodies is called off before they can begin extracting fuel.