CAIRO, Egypt — A Hong Kong-flagged ship briefly ran aground Thursday in Egypt's vital Suez Canal, though authorities said they were able to refloat it after it momentarily disrupted the waterway.
The Xin Hai Tong 23 ran aground at the southern mouth of the Suez Canal, the body that oversees the waterway said in a statement. The ship was being towed to another area by three tug boats after an “emergency malfunction," it said, that caused it to stop sailing.
The Suez Canal Authority said that traffic flow had returned to normal in the canal, which connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Leth Agencies, which oversees traffic in the canal, had said that four other vessels were stopped in line behind it after it ran aground.
The ship is a bulk carrier, which typically carries cargo. The ship measures some 190 meters (625 feet) by 32 meters (105 feet).
The Ever Given, a colossal container ship that crashed into a bank on a single-lane stretch of the canal in March 2021, blocking the waterway, was bigger. A massive salvage effort by a flotilla of tugboats, helped by the tides, freed the skyscraper-sized vessel six days later, ending the crisis and allowing hundreds of waiting ships to pass through the canal.
The Suez Canal in Egypt is one of the most-used shipping routes for global cargo ship traffic, dividing Asia and Africa.
The canal is an artificial sea-level waterway that connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. It has been operational since 1969.