New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: A giant 400 meter-long cargo ship weighing 200,000 metric tons jammed across the Suez Canal in Egypt and blocked one of the most important shipping lanes. The stuck ship halted the global shipping since Wednesday as at least 100 other ships waiting to pass through the waterway stand still waiting for the obstruction to clear. The Ever Given, a Panama-flagged ship that carries cargo between Asia and Europe, ran aground Tuesday in the Suez canal dividing continental Africa from the Sinai Peninsula.

The 400-metre, 224,000-tonne Ever Given ran aground on Tuesday morning after losing the ability to steer amid high winds and a dust storm, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said in a statement, threatening to disrupt global shipments for days. 

GAC, a Dubai-based marine services company, as reported by Reuters, said that the authorities were still working to free the ship mid-afternoon on Wednesday, and that information it had received earlier claiming the vessel was partially refloated was inaccurate. Egyptian officials and others were due to begin work again to free the vessel Thursday morning after halting for the night. 

Meanwhile, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, the company that manages the Ever Given cargo, said the ship's 25-member crew are safe and accounted for. The ship had two pilots from Egypt's canal authority aboard the vessel to guide it when the grounding happened around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, the company said as reported by AP.

Canal service provider Leth Agencies said at least 150 ships were waiting for the Ever Given to be cleared, including vessels near Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea, Port Suez on the Red Sea and those already stuck in the canal system on Egypt's Great Bitter Lake.

Cargo ships already behind the Ever Given in canal will be reversed south back to Port Suez to free the channel, Leth Agencies said. Authorities hope to do the same to the Ever Given when they can free it.

Evergreen Marine Corp., a major Taiwan-based shipping company that operates the ship, said in a statement that the Ever Given had been overcome by strong winds as it entered the canal from the Red Sea but none of its containers had sunk.

The Ever Given, built-in 2018 with a length of nearly 400 meters (a quarter-mile) and a width of 59 meters (193 feet), is among the largest cargo ships in the world. It can carry some 20,000 containers at a time.


(With Agencies Inputs) 

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan