Suez Canal Reopens after Stranded Ship Freed
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Cairo, March 29 (Jiji Press)--Egypt's Suez Canal reopened for traffic Monday after the Japanese-owned container ship Ever Given was freed, ending its six-day blockage of the vital waterway, the Suez Canal Authority said.
Over 420 container ships and tankers carrying oil and liquefied natural gas were waiting for the reopening. Of them, 113 vessels are expected to pass through the canal by noon Tuesday.
At high tide Monday morning, large tugboats were used to free the 220,000-ton Ever Given, one of the largest container ships in the world, with a length of 400 meters and a width of 59 meters.
The ship, owned by Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., based in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, western Japan, sailed north to the Great Bitter Lake, located halfway between the northern and southern ends of the canal. It is staying there for inspection.
The Ever Given, operated by Taiwan's Evergreen Marine Corp., became unable to move in the canal because its bow was stuck in the dirt after hitting the bank of the waterway. Local authorities and salvage teams removed massive amounts of dirt from around the ship's bow, but the work to refloat the vessel was very tough due to its weight.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]