A year on, wreck of the Costa Concordia still threatens Tuscan coast

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The Independent Online

More time and money will be needed to remove the Costa Concordia from the rocks off Tuscany where it capsized last year, in part to ensure the toxic materials still trapped inside don't leak into the surrounding marine sanctuary when it is righted, officials said yesterday.

On the eve of today's first anniversary of the grounding, environmental and salvage experts gave an update on the unprecedented removal project under way. They stressed the massive size of the ship (twice the size of Titanic), its precarious perch on the rocks off Giglio island's port, and the environmental concerns at play.

The pristine waters around Giglio are part of a protected sanctuary for dolphins, porpoises and whales, and are a favourite with scuba divers. Already, tourism was down 28 per cent last year, and officials say the hulking vessel now won't be removed before the end of this summer. September is thought to be the probable date for removal, with the cost likely to reach €400m (£330m).