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Stranded container ship blocks Suez Canal

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A giant container ship has run aground in the Suez Canal in Egypt, the shipping company that operates it said on Wednesday. Maritime traffic is blocked on one of the busiest trade routes in the world.

A photograph released Tuesday shows the MV Ever Given, a Taiwanese ship 400 meters long and 59 meters wide, crossing the canal and preventing all traffic. According to the maritime surveillance site Vessel Finder, the ship was on its way to Rotterdam.

“The container ship accidentally ran aground, possibly after being struck by a gust of wind,” said Evergreen Marine Corp. The company “is in discussions with the parties concerned, including the authority which manages the canal, to assist the boat as soon as possible”.

The article from August 5, 2015: Egypt offers a second Suez Canal

The Bloomberg agency said that following the incident, more than 100 ships were waiting to be able to pass through the Suez Canal. “There was a grounding incident,” Alok Roy, director of BSM Hongkong, which manages Ever Given, told Bloomberg.

10% of international maritime trade

“Tugs are currently trying to get the ship afloat,” Leth Agencies, a firm that provides services to customers who use the channel, told Twitter.

Inaugurated in 1869, the Suez Canal ensures the passage of 10% of international maritime trade. Nearly 19,000 ships used it last year, according to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA). The canal is a key source of revenue for Egypt, to which it brought in $ 5.61 billion (€ 4.74 billion) last year.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced in 2015 a project to develop the canal aimed at reducing waiting times and doubling the number of ships using it by 2023.

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