Suez Canal, one of the world’s most busiest shipping lanes, has been blocked by a massive container ship.
The Panamanian-flagged cargo ship, Ever Green, with a width of nearly 200 feet and a length of 1,300 feet, caused a growl in the waterway, preventing hundreds of other boats from traveling.
The Egyptian waterway, which links the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and provides the shortest sea connection between Asia and Europe, carries about 10% of global trade.
According to a statement seen by Reuters from Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSS), the ship’s technical manager, the ship ran aground at around 7.40 AM local time on Tuesday the 23rd.
After 24 hours, the ship was still stuck, as tug boats and excavation equipment were being used to free the ship, officials said.
Wind conditions were complicating the efforts, according to a statement released by Ever Given’s shipping company, GAC Egypt, on Wednesday. “No progress has been made so far,” it said.
The ship had sailed through Taipei and Malaysia on its way to the Netherlands, where it was scheduled to arrive on March 31. Instead, it became perpendicular to the canal, preventing hundreds of ships from passing on both sides.
“All crew are safe and accounted for,” said Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement. He also added: “There have been no reports of injuries or pollution.”
Egypt said to have reopened the canal’s older channel in order to divert traffic, with concerns that it might be closed for days.