A cargo container ship, amongst the largest in the world has turned sideways and blocked all traffic in Egypt’s Suez Canal, officials said Wednesday.
The MV Ever Given, a Panama-flagged container ship that carries trade between Asia and Europe, became grounded Tuesday in the narrow, man-made waterway dividing continental Africa from the Sinai Peninsula.
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the Ever Given to turn sideways in the canal. GAC, a global shipping and logistics company, described the Ever Given as suffering “a blackout while transiting in a northerly direction,” without elaborating.
According to a major Taiwan-based shipping company that operates the ship, the Ever Given had been overcome by strong winds as it entered the Suez Canal from the Red Sea but none of its containers had sunk.
The Ever Given’s bow was touching the canal’s eastern wall, while its stern looked lodged against its western wall, according to satellite data from MarineTraffic.com. Several tug boats surrounded the ship, likely attempting to push it the right way, the data showed.
The Ever Given had listed its destination as Rotterdam in the Netherlands prior to getting stuck in the canal. The ship, built in 2018 with a length of nearly a quarter mile and a width of 193 feet, is among the largest cargo ships in the world. It can carry some 20,000 containers at a time.