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Shipwrecked Concordia declared vertical off Italy

  • concordia_091613.jpg

    Sept. 17, 2013: The Costa Concordia lies on its side on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy, early Tuesday morning. Using a vast system of steel cables and pulleys, maritime engineers on Monday gingerly winched the massive hull of the Costa Concordia off the reef where the cruise ship capsized in January 2012 and are poised to set it upright.AP

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    Sept. 16, 2013 - The Costa Concordia ship lies on its side on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy. Engineers succeeded in wresting the hull of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia from the Italian reef where it has been stuck since it capsized in January 2012, leaving them cautiously optimistic they can rotate the luxury liner upright and eventually tow it away. Never before has such an enormous cruise ship been righted, and the crippled Concordia didn't budge for the first three hours after the operation began.AP

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    September 16, 2013: Reporters watch the Costa Concordia ship lying on its side on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy. An international team of engineers is trying a never-before attempted strategy to set upright the luxury liner, which capsized after striking a reef in 2012 killing 32 people. (AP Photo)

Engineers have declared the crippled Costa Concordia cruise ship completely upright after a 19-hour operation to pull it from its side where it capsized last year off Tuscany.

Shortly after 4 a.m. Tuesday, a foghorn rang out on Giglio Island and the head of Italy's Civil Protection agency, Franco Gabrielli, announced that the ship had reached vertical and that the operation to rotate it was complete.

Applause rang out among firefigters in the tent where Gabrielli and other project engineers made the announcement.

Officials said there was no apparent pollution in the waters around the ship as a result of the operation.