Successful final voyage of shipwreck
The Costa Concordia shipwreck arrived at a port at Voltri, just outside Genoa in north-west Italy, five days after being towed away from the Tuscan island of Giglio.
The stricken cruise liner's final voyage passed off without incident, two and a half years after it ran aground on rocks after sailing too close to Giglio, killing 32 people.
Tests for pollution will be carried out before workers begin dismantling the ship which returns to Genoa nine years after being launched there. There is no official schedule for the dismantling process although it is reported that it could take up to two years. The body of one of the 32 victims, Indian waiter Russel Rebello, is still missing, and the salvage team believe his body may be found when the ship is dismantled.
The ship's arrival in Genoa follows a complex salvage operation that cost an estimated €1.5 billion. After its successful refloating the ship was towed 350 km north to Genoa by a 14-boat convoy which travelled at an average speed of about two knots, or walking speed. There was no pollution reported during the five-day voyage despite France's concerns of potential spillages along the Corsican coast.
As the 114,000-ton vessel concluded its successful last journey, Italy's environment minister Gian Luca Galletti chided his French counterpart Segoléne Royal by saying "The French should trust us Italians a bit more."
The Concordia's disgraced former captain Francesco Schettino is on trial facing charges of multiple homicide, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning the ship before it was evacuated – all charges he denies. Other people charged in connection with the disaster negotiated plea bargains last year, and the ship's owners Costa Crociere have avoided criminal prosecution by paying a €1-million fine.