Cairo: The Suez Canal Authority said Monday that a cargo ship carrying corn that went aground in the Egyptian waterway was refloated and canal traffic was restored.
Canal services firm Leth Agencies said the vessel, MV Glory, ran aground near the city of Qantara, in the Suez Canal province of Ismailia. The firm said three canal tugboats had been working to refloat the vessel.
The M/V Glory is 225 meters long, according to the website of Greek operator Target Marine SA. The canal itself is roughly 300 meters wide.
Officials had no details on what caused the ship to hit ground. Parts of Egypt, including its northern provinces, experienced a wave of bad weather Sunday.
Satellite tracking data analyzed by The Associated Press showed the Glory in a single-lane stretch of the Suez Canal just south of Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea.
Leth Agencies later posted a graphic that suggested the Glory was against the west bank of the canal, pointed south and not wedged across the channel. It identified the three tugs aiding the vessel as the Port Said, Svitzer Suez 1 and Ali Shalabi.
'Ever Given' debacle
It wasn't the first vessel to run aground in the crucial waterway. The Panama-flagged Ever Given, a colossal container ship, crashed into a bank on a single-lane stretch of the canal in March 2021, blocking the waterway for six days.
The Ever Given was freed in a giant salvage operation by a flotilla of tugboats. The blockage created a massive traffic jam that held up $9 billion a day in global trade and strained supply chains already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ever Given debacle prompted Egyptian authorities to begin widening and deepening the waterway’s southern part where the vessel hit ground.
In August, the Singaporean-flagged Affinity V oil tanker ran aground in a single-lane stretch of the canal, blocking the waterway for five hours before it was freed.
The Joint Coordination Center listed the Glory as carrying over 65,000 metric tons of corn from Ukraine bound for China.
The Glory was inspected by the Joint Coordination Center off Istanbul on Jan. 3. The center includes Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian and United Nations staffers.
Opened in 1869, the Suez Canal provides a crucial link for oil, natural gas and cargo. It also remains one of Egypt’s top foreign currency earners. 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.
The roughly 20 ships that were stopped from travelling south through the canal will resume their voyages with minor delays, Leth, which provides services to vessels going through the Suez, said in a statement.
The vessel is a bulk carrier, meaning it transports unpackaged cargo such as grains. It's just over half the length of the Ever Given, the massive vessel that blocked the Suez in 2021.
The Ever Given was stuck partly because it was longer than the width of the canal.
The Suez Canal Authority said navigation in the waterway would return to normal.
It wasn't immediately clear what caused the latest incident.