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GIGLIO, Italy - It took one act of incompetence to wreck the Costa Concordia, but it s taken two and a half years and about $1 billion to get to the point of getting rid of the wreck.
It s the biggest salvage operation ever attempted and one of the most risky, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips. The Costa Concordia has been sitting upright on an underwater steel platform since last September.
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Before that she had been lying on her side where she d been grounded after hitting a rock while passing too close to the Italian island of Giglio, where 32 people died on the night of the accident.
It took an unprecedented operation, what the salvagers call a parbuckling, to roll the ship over into a position where she can be refloated. But the engineering required to do that is impressive as well.
An array 30 metal flotation chambers have been attached along the sides of the ship. They re full of water now but are being pumped out so they can act as giant water wings and lift the Concordia. But it s never a simple as it sounds. The scale of the project is huge.