Business & Economy

Ship blocking Suez Canal partially dislodged to clear vital trade route

Cairo, Mar 29 (efe-epa).- A massive container ship that has been stuck across the Suez Canal for almost a week was partially dislodged Monday, Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority said.

SCA head Osama Rabie said rescue teams were working to straighten the course of the Panama-flagged ship, Ever Given, to clear one of the world’s busiest trade routes.

The vessel’s course has been readjusted significantly by 80 percent, while the stern has moved away from the canal bank by 102 meters, according to Rabie.

Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sisi praised his compatriots for successfully ending the crisis that was triggered by the container ship becoming stuck in the canal, which has delayed hundreds of cargo vessels.

“And by restoring matters to their normal course, with Egyptian hands, the whole world can be assured of the path of its goods and needs that pass through this navigational artery,” added al-Sisi in a Facebook post.

Rabie said the work was not yet complete as efforts to fully dislodge the tanker were due to resume shortly before noon local time, when the water level rises to its highest point of two meters.

Once the ship is dislodged, workers will be able to fully correct the course of the 400-meter long and 220,000-ton vessel, according to Rabie.

Ever Given ran aground in the canal after the crew lost visibility amid strong winds and a sandstorm on Tuesday.

The blockade has prevented a total of 326 other cargo vessels from passing through the major shipping route, emphasizing the canal’s vital role as a major global shipping artery.

The 193-km (120 miles) waterway connects the Mediterranean and Red seas, providing the shortest shipping route between Asia and Europe.

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