Authorities in Egypt say they’ve been able to partially remove the container ship that’s blocked the Suez Canal for a second day, creating a bottleneck for dozens of other vessels and upsetting maritime traffic.
An update from port manager GAC, issued at noon local time, said the grounded MV Ever Given is now partially refloated and moved alongside the bank of the canal.
“Convoys and traffic are expected to resume as soon as vessel is towed to another position,” the GAC statement said.
Other sources say that that’s an optimistic reading and the canal may be blocked for up to days.
The Panamanian-flagged ship, operated by the Evergreen Line, was heading from China to the European port of Rotterdam. It left Egypt’s Suez Port (Port Tawfiq) late Monday night after spending nearly 24 hours there, but not long into its journey it stalled at the 151 kilometer mark to the north.
The 400-meter container ship was stuck at nearly a 45-degree angle across the canal, its bow pointing northeast and its stern to the southwest. Vessels to the north and south waited as the tugs tried to free the ship.
Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority said Wednesday that at least eight tug boats were working to free the Ever Given.
There is not yet an official cause for the accident, amid conflicting reports on why the vessel veered into the canal’s eastern wall. Egyptian sources say a sandstorm with high winds contributed to the navigational failure.
Image: Suez Canal Authority