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'Mega-Ship' Completely Blocks Suez Canal

Situation could go on for days, experts say
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2021 12:55 AM CDT
Updated Mar 24, 2021 6:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – A massive cargo ship is blocking Egypt's Suez Canal after having turned sideways and run aground Tuesday. The Guardian and the BBC have photos. The Ever Given, a so-called "mega-ship" or ultra-large container ship more than 1,300 feet long and nearly 200 feet wide, is so wedged in that several attempts to refloat it have failed. It's not clear what happened, but there was speculation it lost power and then drifted sideways, and reports note wind also likely played a role. Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen owns the ship, which was en route from China to the Netherlands, the AP reports. Traffic jams had built up on either side of the vessel in the crucial shipping waterway.

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The Guardian says shipping experts believe the situation will be resolved within a couple days, though the BBC spoke to one expert who feared the incident could have "huge ramifications for global trade." Tugboats have been sent in to help, so far to no avail, and a digger is apparently trying to excavate ground underneath the bow. "This is the largest vessel ever to go aground in the Suez Canal," says one maritime historian, who hypothesizes cargo will have to be pulled off the ship if it cannot be refloated during high tide. (Read more Suez canal stories.)

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