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Cargo ship runs aground in the Suez Canal

January 9, 2023 at 10:48 am

A “Welcome to Egypt” sign can be seen across the Suez Canal on 30 March 2021 in Ismailia, Egypt [Mahmoud Khaled / Getty Images]

A cargo ship ran aground in the Suez Canal today and was later freed by three tugboats.

The MV Glory was carrying over 65,000 tonnes of corn from Ukraine and was heading towards China.

The Suez Canal Authority said that the ship suffered engine failure this morning and that a swift rescue meant there were only minor delays for other vessels heading southbound.

The 120-mile passageway built in 1869 connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean allowing ships to move directly between Asia and Europe, rather than sail thousands of miles around the African continent.

Before it was built, world trade took almost double the time to move between the two continents.

In March 2021 a giant cargo ship, the Ever Given, ran aground where it was stuck for six days in a story that hit headlines across the world.

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The 224,000-tonne vessel ran aground after high winds and a sandstorm reduced visibility and was eventually freed by a flotilla of tugboats.

Around ten per cent of the world’s trade flows through the Suez Canal and the blockage was predicted at the time to result in the loss of $9.6 billion of trade each day.

In September last year, an oil tanker was briefly stranded in the same strip of Egypt’s Suez Canal after a technical fault with its rudder.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has been criticised for overseeing several vanity projects in the country, including the extension of the Suez Canal which cost Egypt $8 billion, which have not resulted in tangible benefits for ordinary Egyptian citizens.

In an opening ceremony for the project military helicopters and F-16 fighter jets flew overhead whilst the president himself sailed on a boat once used by the former king, dressed in full military uniform.

Experts have said that the extension, essentially a 23-mile channel that runs parallel to the original, only reduced shipping time by a couple of hours,

In 2014, head of the Suez Canal Agency predicted that revenues would reach $100 billion a year, however, in 2018 revenues hit only $5.7 billion a year, according to Carnegie.