Jammed container ship causes enormously costly traffic jam in Suez Canal

The 400-metre long and 59 metre-wide cargo ship the Ever Given became stuck in the Suez Canal on Tuesday

The 400-metre long and 59 metre-wide cargo ship the Ever Given became stuck in the Suez Canal on Tuesday

The Ever Given, a 59m long cargo ship en route from China to Rotterdam, has become stuck one of the narrowest parts of the canal.

Historic sections of the canal have been reopened in a bid to ease the bottleneck of backed up marine traffic. The ship was traveling northward through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean from the Red Sea when it reportedly lost power.

"Hopefully it won't be too long but from the looks of it that ship is super stuck", said a passenger of another ship who's watched the whole thing.

It is now not known how long it will take to free the ship and clear the canal.

And on Vessel Finder, maps show Ever Given's slow progress in getting unstuck from its current position.

Photographs released by the SCA also showed excavators onshore digging soil from the canal's bank, with the earth-moving equipment dwarfed by the giant hull towering above.

The 200,000-tonne vessel en route from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean ran aground at about 7:40 a.m. (05:40 GMT) on Tuesday after the ship suffered a blackout, port agents GAC said on its website.

"There have been no reports of injuries or pollution", he added.

In the canal itself, the map showed at least six tug boats near the stuck Ever Given.

It's unknown how the huge ship arrived in its predicament, but fallenhearts17 did note that the ship had cut off their vessel, which appears to the Maersk Denver, before entering the canal.

"Right after they ran aground the ship behind us lost power and nearly hit us", she wrote on Instagram.

There it remained at midnight, with at least seven tug boats, all based in Egypt, trying to dislodge the Ever Given.

The 193-kilometer-long (120 miles) Suez Canal, which opened in 1869, is among the most trafficked waterways in the world, utilized by oil tankers shipping crude from the Middle East to Europe and North America. A spokesperson for the Suez Canal Authority couldn't be reached for comment outside usual office hours. In 1956, when the company's 99-year lease expired, Egyptian President Gamel abd al-Nasser moved to nationalize the canal, after which a joint British-French-Israeli force temporarily invaded and occupied the canal zone, closing it for almost a year before U.S. and Soviet pressure forced them to withdraw. In 2015, the government of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi completed a major expansion of the canal, allowing it to accommodate the world's largest vessels.

In February, Sisi ordered his cabinet to adopt a "flexible marketing policy" for the canal in order to cope with the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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