A diver working in Italy on the Costa Concordia salvage operation died late on Saturday after being crushed by a heavy piece of metal being cut off the ship.
Israel Franco Moreno, 41, from La Coruna, Spain, was a professional underwater welder with Titan Salvage who had travelled the world on ship salvage operations.
He had arrived on Giglio just a week before Saturday’s fatal dive – one of more than 15,000 that have been carried out in €600-million (£500m) salvage operation since the massive cruise ship capsized off Giglio island January 13, 2012. Thirty-two people died in the accident – 18 of them on deck four, which is near where Moreno was working when he was killed.
“Our community has once again been poisoned by a grave accident that that takes us back again to the tragic events two years ago,” said Sergio Ortelli, mayor of Giglio.
Moreno was working in a team of divers around 4.30pm, in the area of the ship between deck four and deck five, according to the salvage officials. The divers were cutting off braces that protrude from the ship, and which served to extend the emergency lifeboats, in order to build a flat steel surface on the side of the 950-ft-long Concordia. The steel surface was to be used to attach additional “sponsons” – large tanks – to refloat and tow away the wreck.