The Costa Concordia, the cruise liner that capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio on Jan. 12, 2012, began its final voyage Wednesday as tugboats pulled it away from the accident site.
The rusted ship is being kept afloat by large metal compartments filled with air on its sides. Moving at 2 nautical miles per hour, it is expected to arrive at Genoa, Italy, on Sunday. There it will be broken down for scrap.
"This has been an open wound for 2½ years and now the island can begin the healing process," Mario Solari, a co-owner of Pizzeria L'Archetto, told the Wall Street Journal.
Thirty-two people were killed when the ship struck a reef and rolled over while on the first leg of a seven-day cruise from Civitavecchia to Savona. By the time it came to a rest close to shore, the ship was on its side with a 230-foot tear in its hull.
Rescue efforts took six hours as passengers and crew were evacuated using life boats and helicopters. Most of the dead were quickly recovered. The body of crew member Russel Rebello was discovered 22 months later and the body of his brother, Kevin Rebello, is the only person who remains missing.
Francesco Schettino, the caption of the ship, is on trial on charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship. He faces up to 20 years in prison.