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Massive cargo ship turns sideways, blocking Egypt’s Suez Canal

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A massive cargo ship has turned sideways in Egypt’s Suez Canal, blocking traffic in a crucial East-West waterway for global shipping, according to satellite data.

Traffic on the narrow waterway dividing continental Africa from the Sinai Peninsula stops after the MV Ever Given, a Panama-flagged container ship with an owner listed in Japan, got stuck.

It isn’t immediately clear what caused the Ever Given to turn sideways in the canal. GAC, a global shipping and logistics company, describes the Ever Given as suffering “a blackout while transiting in a northerly direction,” without elaborating. Others blame high winds for turning the vessel.

The Ever Given’s bow was touching the canal’s eastern wall, while its stern looked lodged against its western wall, according to satellite data from MarineTraffic.com. Several tug boats surrounded the ship, likely attempting to push it the right way, the data shows.

An image posted to Instagram by a user on another waiting cargo ship appears to show the Ever Given wedged across the canal.

Canal authorities can’t be immediately reached. The ship appears to be stuck some 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) north of the southernly mouth of the canal near the city of Suez.

Cargo ships and oil tankers appear to be lining up at the southern end of the Suez Canal, waiting to be able to pass through the waterway to the Mediterranean Sea, according to MarineTraffic data.

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