Cruise ship a huge challenge for Italy divers

Underwater demolition experts blew four holes in the hull of the grounded Costa Concordia Tuesday morning to provide access to gathering points and areas that hadn't been reached, and to make it safer for divers working in long passageways deep inside the wreck.

Newly released infrared video from the Italian Coast Guard shows how passengers had to make a perilous descent down the ship's massive hull on rope ladders to reach life-rafts.

Rescuers say it is highly disorienting having to navigate through a world turned on its side. Walls have become floors in a jumble of debris - a maze of corridors, restaurants, bath spas and recreation areas - half of which is underwater, and all of which is at a near-90-degree angle.

Divers blast holes in Italy ship to speed rescue
Video: International cruise ship safety codes loosely enforced
Missing toll jumps as ship search resumes

With the search now primarily for bodies, as there is little if any hope of finding anyone still alive, thoughts in Italy are turning to a potential environmental disaster lurking in the mammoth wreck; some 2,000 tons of fuel which could start leaking out of the grounded vessel.

For Pizzey's full report from Isla de Giglio, click on the player above.

  • Allen Pizzey

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