ROME - Italian officials coordinating the rescue and anti-pollution efforts on the Costa Concordia cruise ship say an oily film has been spotted about 300 yards from the capsized vessel.
The film was spotted Monday by officials flying in a helicopter and by residents of Giglio island.
Samples are being analyzed, the officials say, but preliminary observations indicate the slick is a light oil and not from heavy fuel inside the Concordia's tanks. Absorbent panels immediately put around the area seem to have at least partially absorbed the oil.
Earlier, officials said experts can begin pumping tons of heavy fuel from the ship as early as Tuesday to avert a possible environmental catastrophe in the area. The Giglio region where the Costa Concordia rammed into the reefand part of a protected area for whales and dolphins.
According to CBS This Morning, the ship holds half a million gallons of fuel or about 2,000 tons in double-bottomed tanks. There are also 185 metric tons of diesel and lubricants on board, including fuel in machinery and lifeboats that are not contained in the fuel tanks.
Any work on the ship is being done carefully because the Costa Concordia is resting on a cliff. Just a few yards from where the ship was marooned, the sea bottom drops 65 to 100 feet. If the Concordia sinks, anyone working inside could be trapped.