Hong Kong-flagged vessel briefly blocks Egypt’s vital Suez Canal

A Hong Kong-flagged ship briefly blocked Egypt’s vital Suez Canal on Thursday morning, authorities said, the latest such incident in the busy waterway.

According to Leth Agencies, a canal services company that oversees the waterway, the Xin Hai Tong 23 ran aground before dawn at the southern entrance to the canal, blocking four vessels.

The bulk carrier, measuring about 190 meters (625 feet) by 32 meters (105 feet), had set off for Suez from the Saudi Red Sea port of Duba.

Later in the day Thursday, it was at sea about 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) south of the canal, according to Marine Traffic, a vessel tracking firm.

Opened in 1869, the Suez Canal provides a vital link for oil, natural gas and cargo of Egypt’s top foreign currency earners.

In 2015, President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi ’s government completed a major expansion of the canal, allowing it to accommodate the world’s largest vessels.

Source: Bahrain News Agency