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Crews successfully float shipwrecked Concordia cruise ship ahead of tow to Genoa scrapyard

In this combo picture the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia is seen as it moves away from the underwater platform where it laid, during operations to put it afloat, on the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Monday, July 14, 2014. The shipwrecked Costa Concordia has been successfully put afloat in preparation to tow it away for scrapping. Authorities expressed satisfaction that the operation to float the Concordia from an underwater platform had proceeded without a hitch early Monday. The cruise liner struck a reef in January 2012 and capsized, killing 32 people. (AP Photo/Giacomo Aprili)

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In this combo picture the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia is seen as it moves away from the underwater platform where it laid, during operations to put it afloat, on the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Monday, July 14, 2014. The shipwrecked Costa Concordia has been successfully put afloat in preparation to tow it away for scrapping. Authorities expressed satisfaction that the operation to float the Concordia from an underwater platform had proceeded without a hitch early Monday. The cruise liner struck a reef in January 2012 and capsized, killing 32 people. (AP Photo/Giacomo Aprili)

GIGLIO, Italy - The shipwrecked Costa Concordia was successfully refloated Monday in preparation to be towed away for scrapping, 30 months after it struck a reef and capsized, killing 32 people.

Authorities expressed satisfaction that the operation to float the Concordia from an underwater platform had proceeded without a hitch. Technicians later shifted the massive cruise ship some 30 metres (yards) before ending the day's operations.

"Another day, and the worst is over," said the head of the salvage operation, Nick Sloane.

The entire operation to remove the Concordia from the reef and float it to Genoa, where it will be scrapped, will cost a total of 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion), Costa Crociere SpA CEO Michael Tamm told reporters.

The heavily listing ship was dragged upright in a daring manoeuvr last September, and then crews fastened huge tanks to its flanks to float it. Towing is set to begin July 21. It's about 200 nautical miles (320 kilometres) to Genoa and the trip is expected to take five days.

"The operation began well, but it will be completed only when we have finished the transport to Genoa," Italian Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti told reporters Monday.

Concordia's Italian captain is being tried in Tuscany for manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship before all were evacuated.

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