1st phase of Italian cruise ship fuel removal done

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Associated Press

Posted on February 19, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Updated Sunday, Feb 19 at 6:03 PM

ROME (AP) — The first phase of fuel removal from the capsized cruise ship Costa Concordia has been completed off Italy's coast.

Italy's civil protection agency, which is monitoring the operation, said all fuel had been removed by Sunday evening from the tanks in the front part of the ship. Those tanks held roughly two-thirds of the fuel.

The Concordia had around 500,000 gallons (1.9 million liters) of fuel when it struck a reef near the Tuscan island of Giglio Jan. 13 and capsized. Fuel removal from less accessible tanks in the rear of the ship will follow, but choppy seas predicted for Monday could delay the start.

Divers searching the wreck hope to find bodies of the 15 people missing. Seventeen bodies were found over the last few weeks.

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