Two-thirds of Costa Concordia fuel removed

Ongoing operations to remove fuel from the half-sunken hulk of the luxury ship Costa Concordia a month after it ran aground are seen outside the port of Isola del Giglio island in Tuscany, Italy, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012. AP Photo/Giorgio Fanciulli

ROME - The first phase of fuel removal from the capsized cruise ship Costa Concordia has been completed off Italy's coast.

Italy's civil protection agency, which is monitoring the operation, said all fuel had been removed by Sunday evening from the tanks in the front part of the ship.

Those tanks held roughly two-thirds of the fuel.

The Concordia had around 500,000 gallons of fuel when it struck a reef near the Tuscan island of Giglio Jan. 13 and capsized.

Fuel removal from less accessible tanks in the rear of the ship will follow, but choppy seas predicted for Monday could delay the start.

Divers searching the wreck hope to find bodies of the 15 people missing. Seventeen bodies were found over the last few weeks.

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