‘Very Thin Film’ of Slick Reported from Stricken Cruise Ship
Salvage and rescue workers reported the first sign of a significant contaminant slick beginning to ooze from the partly submerged Costa Concordia on Tuesday as divers recovered the sodden body of the 16th victim from the Jan. 13 shipwreck.
Samples of the slick, described as a “very thin film” by officials and residents of this Tuscan coastal island, were being analyzed, said Adm. Ilarione Dell’Anna. The precise origin of the slick was unclear but Italian officials said absorbent booms placed around the 950-foot hull and beyond were trapping it.
Smit, a Dutch salvage company, has been hired to extract the ship’s half million gallons of fuel, which has become a pressing priority to avoid an environmental disaster from the shipwreck.
The United States ambassador to Italy, David Thorne, visited the island on Tuesday, telling reporters he had come to support the family of the American couple among the 22 passengers still missing, Barbara and Gerald Heil. But he also said “We feel very bad for all of the families involved, not just for the Americans.”