Egypt’s Suez Canal blocked by huge container ship

Tug boats and diggers are working to refloat a giant container ship that has blocked Egypt’s Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest trade routes, the BBC reports.

The owners of the 400m-long vessel say it ran aground sideways after being hit by strong winds.

Egypt says it has reopened the canal’s older channel to divert traffic, amid fears it could remain blocked for days.

The incident has already created long tailbacks on the waterway, stopping dozens of other vessels from passing.

About 10% of global trade passes through the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and provides the shortest sea link between Asia and Europe.

The Ever Given, registered in Panama, was bound for the port city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands from China and was passing northwards through the canal on its way to the Mediterranean.

The 200,000 tonne ship, built in 2018 and operated by Taiwanese transport company Evergreen Marine, ran aground and became lodged sideways across the waterway at about 07:40 local time (05:40 GMT) on Tuesday.

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