A suitcase belonging to a Costa Concordia passenger has emerged some 28 miles away from the Tuscan island of Giglio, where the cruise liner capsized nine months ago.
Found by children in relatively good conditions, the bag was washed ashore at Cala Seregola on the island of Elba. It contained a pair of shoes, clothes and two Clive Cussler books.
Cruise ship stickers and handwritten baggage tag with the name of the owner - an Austrian passenger who survived the disaster - were still legible after the rough sea voyage.
Experts believe the suitcase might have slipped out of the ship's hull and plunged into the sea on October 31, when a storm with 13-foot-high waves hit the island.
On that occasion, worrying oil spillage appeared near the 114,500-ton ship.
"The situation is totally under control and, at present, there is no visible leakage from the wreck," the Commissioner for the Concordia Emergency wrote on a new website which is supposed to show the wreck removal operation in real time.
"Divers inspection is still going on in order to identify where the leakage is coming from," the authority said.
According to the latest bullettin, the bad weather demonstrated that the recent stabilization, consisting of four anchoring systems, does work.
"We did not track any slipping movement, although the technology recorded some three degree movements which are most likely related to the hull deformation," Maria Sargentini, president of the Observatory on the Costa Concordia, said.
About 400 workers, engineers and divers are working on the island on the ship removal project.
Now that the ship has been anchored, the next step will involve foundations for the six platforms on which the wreck will rest after rotation into a vertical position.
According to Franco Gabrielli, the head of the Civil Protection Authority, the Costa Concordia's emergency status will end by Jan., 31, 2013.
At that time a new governmental authority in charge of the wreck removal operations will be appointed.
Photo: The suitcase washed ashore on the island of Elba some 28 miles away. Credit: YouReporter.it /Tele Elba