CAIRO, April 18 (Reuters) – A container ship ran aground in Egypt’s Suez Canal in dense mist on Saturday morning, the canal authority said, delaying traffic through a vital global trade route for several hours.
A Maersk Line spokesman told Reuters the Danish-flagged Susan Maersk sustained no damage or casualties when it ran onto a sand bank while heading north. He said the vessel remained seaworthy and was waiting to be pulled off the sand.
Sources in the canal authority said another ship in the same convoy, the Liberian-flagged Margaret Oldendorff, had also ran aground. The two incidents delayed traffic for several hours, they said.
Other sources in the authority had earlier said that the two ships had collided, leading to a small puncture in the Margaret Oldendorff above the water’s surface which did not prevent it from continuing its journey.
Reuters was not immediately able to reach that ship’s operator for comment.
The Suez Canal is one of the world’s most strategic waterways, facilitating much of the maritime trade between Europe and Asia.
It provides about $5 billion in annual revenue for Egypt, which is currently digging an extension to the 145-year-old waterway to reduce wait time.
(Writing by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Crispian Balmer)