Suez Canal reportedly almost blocked again by cargo ship

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The Suez Canal was nearly blocked again after a cargo ship reportedly ran aground, briefly blocking the critical shipping route before it was refloated within about 15 minutes.

The Panamanian-flagged vessel MV Coral Crystal, which was bound for Port Sudan, was stranded in the southern part of the canal, Bloomberg reported, citing a Suez Canal Authority official.

The brief grounding of the vessel did not affect navigation at the canal, the SCA told Bloomberg.

The close call nearly marked the second time this year that the canal was blocked by a run-aground ship.

Nearly six months ago, the Ever Given caused a six-day nautical traffic jam when it became diagonally lodged in the canal, costing tens of billions of dollars in delayed global trade.

The blockage caused delays to at least 369 boats, which lined up in a massive traffic jam waiting to pass through the canal, which is responsible for up to 15 percent of world trade.

After nearly a week of bringing traffic to a halt, the ship was finally freed by a flotilla of 14 tugboats and the assistance of a high tide caused by a supermoon.

The Ever Given caused a six-day nautical traffic jam when it became diagonally lodged in the Suez Canal.The Ever Given caused a six-day nautical traffic jam when it became diagonally lodged in the Suez Canal.The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP

Authorities continue to investigate how the Ever Given, which is about the length of the Empire State Building, became wedged in the canal.

Initial reports blamed high winds and a sandstorm that affected visibility.

But Egyptian officials have since said human error may have contributed to the ship running aground.

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