STRICKEN cruise liner the Costa Concordia could be towed back to the North-East for demolition, it is understood.

Twelve ports, including ABLE Middlesbrough on the River Tees, as well as others in Italy, Norway, Turkey, France and the Netherlands, are in contention for the work.

The team leading the Costa Concordia salvage operation has revealed they will begin removing the stricken cruise liner from near the Italian island of Giglio in June.

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Thirty-two people died when the ship crashed into a reef in 2012 and capsized. 

The job of dismantling and recycling the vessel has been put out to tender which is being overseen by London Offshore Consultants.

It is hoped the salvage team will have made a final decision on a port for the ship to be towed to by early March.

- More details to follow.