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WORLD

Egypt’s Suez Canal and Crashes Into a Bridge. Traffic is Not Disrupted

December 6, 2023

CAIRO (AP) — A cargo ship broke down in Egypt’s Suez Canal on Wednesday and crashed into a bridge over the crucial waterway, authorities said, adding that the incident did not disrupt traffic through the canal.

Adm. Ossama Rabei, head of the Suez Canal Authority, said the Singapore-flagged One Orpheus went off course after its rudder broke down before ploughing into the Mansi Bridge, near the port city of Ismailia. The extent of the damage to both the ship and the bridge is unclear.

The incident happened in a newly expanded section of the waterway, where there are two separate shipping lanes, Rabei said in a statement issued by the authority.

He said four tugboats have been dispatched to move the cargo ship, which was traveling north through the canal, on its way from Singapore to the Netherlands. Following the incident, all ships started using the second, original shipping lane.

The incident was the latest of several such accidents in the crucial waterway. A number of ships have either run aground or broken down in the Suez Canal over the past few years.

In August, two tankers carrying oil products and liquefied natural gas collided in a single-lane stretch of the canal, briefly disrupting traffic. In March 2021, the large Ever Green became wedged in a single lane stretch of the canal, blocking the waterway for six days and disrupting global trade.

Opened in 1869, the Suez Canal provides a crucial link for oil, natural gas and cargo. About 10% of world trade flows through the canal, a major source of foreign currency for the Egyptian government.

In 2015, President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi’s government completed a major expansion of the canal — which included the second shipping lane — allowing it to accommodate the world’s largest vessels.

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