Light fuel has begun to leak from the shipwrecked Costa Concordia as heavy fuel removal equipment sits idle due to the unstable nature of the shifting vessel, according to the Associated Press. Oil absorbing booms placed in the water quickly turned gray from the light fuel leakage.
Head of the Italian Civil Protection Agency Franco Gabrielli told the Associated Press that numerous solvents, detergent and oils were also present on the ship to serve the needs of the 4,000 passengers. Even though heavy fuel oils have not entered the water, Gabrielli feels water contamination began as soon as the Costa Concordia listed and the reef tore a hole in the hull.
Americans shared their thoughts on the current and possible heavy fuel leak via email, instant messaging and Twitter.
* "The captain, Francesco Shettino should also be charges with environmental crimes. He caused this wreck because he was showing off by leaving a safe course and going to near the island. He ended the lives of nearly two dozen people and may cause the deaths of countless aquatic species, plants and impact the livelihood of many local who fish those waters." -- Diane Hensler, environmental activist and artist, New Orleans.
* "The light fuel leak is bad enough. If the boat stays in a position which is unsafe or sinks further, the heavy fuel cannot be removed from the tanks. The best possible scenarios would be that the boat stays intact when sinking and the fuel tanks never erode and keep the contaminates inside. Winning the lottery is about as likely. The cruise line and the captain are at fault for both the deaths and waterway contamination. The man deserves a life prison sentence and the company should be handed the bill for both the incarceration and every aspect of current and future clean-up." -- Rashawna Eastman, Ohio State University student, Columbus.
* "I keep hearing that the fuel extraction cannot occur because the ship is setting on a rocky cliff, but no plan and what will happen if that does not happen. If it sinks to the bottom of the sea, will the oil stay in the fuel tanks or eventually lead? This is going to be an expensive and massive undertaking either way. The captain should receive the death penalty for the loss of human life and the cruise line the harshest punishment allowable by law for the environmental contamination. Not just fines, but jail time." -- Jared Donner, stock broker assistant, New York.
* "That man had no business being in charge of any type of boat. He makes all of us who make our living from on-the-water careers look careless and irresponsible. He has caused death, environmental destruction and given the entire boating industry a huge black eye." -- Bud Skivers, boat fleet operator, Miami.
* "My heart goes out to the families of those who so needlessly died. It sounds like the Italian government is doing everything possible to reclaim bodies and protect the environment. The fuel removal process has now been delayed for days and all the while lesser contaminates and debris have been filtering into the water. I hope the ship stabilizes so the process can begin soon." -- Susan Montgomery, retired educator, San Diego.