Residents on the Italian island of Giglio cheered along with engineers and worker when the Costa Concordia cruise ship was finally pulled upright Tuesday morning after 20 months lying vacant on its side.
Salvage crews took 19 hours to successfully complete the painstakingly complex procedure of raising the partially submerged giant wreckage from a reef. (Watch the timelapse video below)
“This is a very important moment, a great moment. We are very moved because we had to bear this violent event and we transformed it into a great sense of responsibility,” said Giglio Mayor Sergio Ortelli.
“We didn’t expect perfection, but that’s what we got,” one engineer told NBC News.
At last, the ship, a reminder of the terrible loss of life, can be repaired in preparation to be towed away sometime next year. 32 people were killed when the Costa Concordia ran aground on January 13, 2012.
WATCH the video below to see the time lapse footage of the operation: