A container ship heading to Rotterdam has ran aground in the Suez Canal, blocking other vessels from travelling through one of the world’s busiest waterways, according to shipping company GAC and shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon.
The 200,000-tonne vessel en route from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean ran aground at about 7:40am (05:40 GMT) on Tuesday after the ship suffered a blackout, GAC said on its website.
It added that 15 other ships in the northbound convoy behind the vessel were detained at anchorages waiting for the Canal to be cleared. A southbound convoy was also blocked, GAC said, while other ships in the canal were being diverted to an older channel.
The container ship, the Ever Given, is 400 metres long (1,312 feet), 59 metres wide (193 feet), and can carry up to 20,000 20-foot (6.09 metres) equivalent (TEU) shipping containers.
Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corp, which is leasing the vessel under a time charter, said the shipowner had informed it that the vessel “was suspected of being hit by a sudden strong wind, causing the hull to deviate from waterway and accidentally hit the bottom and run aground.
“The company has urged the shipowner to report the cause of the accident and to work out a plan with related units such as the canal administration to assist the ship in getting out of trouble as soon as possible,” Evergreen said in a statement.
The Suez Canal authorities, could not be immediately reached for comment.
More than 150 years old, the Suez Canal is one of the world’s most important trade routes and about 10 percent of all international maritime trade travels through it.