A fierce thunderstorm has delayed the start of a daring bid to raise upright the Costa Concordia cruise ship which capsized off the coast of Italy in 2012.

Italy’s Civil Protection chief Franco Gabrielli said the storm, which hit Giglio Island at about 1 a.m. Monday (2300 GMT Sunday), hadn’t been forecast.

The storm delayed the positioning close to the shipwreck of a barge carrying a remote control room where engineers will work using pulleys and counterweights to delicately nudge the Concordia free from its rocky seabed perch outside the harbor. They aim to raise it 65 degrees to vertical for eventual towing.

The Concordia crashed into a reef in January 2012, killing 32 people.

Gabrielli said the operation should start at about 8 a.m. (0600GMT).

Tags: carnival, costa