Hong Kong-flagged vessel briefly blocks Egypt’s vital Suez Canal

Cairo, May 25 (BNA): A Hong Kong-flagged vessel briefly closed the vital Egyptian Suez Canal Thursday morning, the Egyptian authorities said, in the latest such incident in the crowded waterway.

According to Leth Agencies, the canal service company that oversees the waterway, the Xin Hai Tong 23 ran aground before dawn at the southern entrance to the canal, blocking four ships.

The bulk carrier, which measures approximately 190 meters (625 ft) by 32 meters (105 ft), was heading to Suez from the Saudi port of Duba on the Red Sea.

Later on Thursday, it was at sea about 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) south of the canal, according to Marine Traffic, a ship-tracking company.

Opened in 1869, the Suez Canal provides a vital link for oil, natural gas, and cargo for Egypt’s largest foreign exchange exporters.

In 2015, the government of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi completed a major expansion of the canal, allowing it to accommodate the largest ships in the world.


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