The rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner began its journey to the scrapyard after a two-year salvage operation off the Italian island of Giglio. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
The rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner began its journey to the scrapyard on Wednesday after a two-year salvage operation off the Italian island where it capsized two years ago, killing 32 people.
Boats sounded horns and church bells rang as a tug boat slowly pulled the wreck of the liner, which was around two-and-a half times the size of the Titanic, away from the island of Giglio, accompanied by a convoy of 14 vessels.
Salvage workers gathered in bars at the port, drinking beer and smoking huge cigars, to celebrate after completing one of the largest maritime salvage operations in history.
The 114,500-tonne wreck is due to arrive at a port near Genoa in northern Italy on Sunday, before being broken up for scrap. The once-gleaming white luxury liner sank off the holiday island of Giglio in January 2012 after sailing too close to shore.
Over the past week, salvagers have slowly lifted the ship from underwater platforms by pumping air into 30 large metal boxes, or sponsons, attached to the hull.
Franco Porcellachia, engineer in charge of the salvage, said on Tuesday that his team had done everything in their power to make sure the massive ship was structurally sound for the journey.
"When we are in sight of the port of Genoa, we can declare victory," said Franco Gabrielli, the head of Italy's civil protection service, on Wednesday.
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