Suez Canal Reopens After Brief Closure
The Suez canal was reopened to shipping on Friday after a closure of several hours to free three grounded freighters, canal authorities told AFP.
They said traffic was being allowed through in both directions, but with ships using the western exit of the canal after the accident instead of an eastern passage into the Mediterranean.
The 27,000 ton Panamanian-flagged Mirellia, travelling in a convoy of around 20 ships heading from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, ran aground near Port Said, blocking the eastern exit late Thursday, the officials told the agency.
The Stoltdevon, also Panamanian-flagged, and the Malaysian-registered Bunja Melatis, both carrying chemicals, ran aground in its wake.
Two tugs managed to clear the Mirellia and Stoltdevon in a three-hour operation, while a larger tug was dealing with the 23,000-ton Bunja Melatis, according to the report.
Port authorities attributed the incident to accidental causes.
According to Egyptian web sources, the canal transports 14 percent of the total world trade, 26 percent of oil exports, 41 percent of the total volume of goods and cargo that reach Arab Gulf ports – Albawaba.com