Efforts to dislodge ship blocking Suez Canal intensify

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A digger is seen attempting to move the bank of the canal after the ship ran aground. /Suez Canal/AFP
A digger is seen attempting to move the bank of the canal after the ship ran aground. /Suez Canal/AFP

Efforts to dislodge the container ship stuck in the Suez Canal intensified on Saturday as more ships joined the queues at either end of the waterway that facilitates as much as 12% of the world’s seaborne trade.

The Ever Given ship ran aground on Tuesday after being caught in 40-knot winds and a sandstorm.

Osama Rabie, the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, said operations will continue to dislodge the ship, noting that he hopes the ship can get back into operation today.

“The soil we are working on is tough. Other negative factors were the low tide, and the strong winds in addition to the other factors which I mentioned earlier, including the weight, width and length of the stranded ship,” he said.

The U.S. has offered to send its navy to help in the operations to free the ship.

The owners of the gigantic container ship on Friday said they aimed to refloat the vessel by Saturday night, hoping that a high tide and the further removal of sediment will finally dislodge it.

(With input from agencies)

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