A ship on Wednesday became stuck in Egypt‘s Suez Canal but traffic through the vital waterway was unaffected, a source from the authority managing the canal said.
Connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal accounts for roughly 10 percent of global maritime trade and the majority of oil transported by sea.
“Engine damage caused the ship to break down as it was passing through the Suez Canal,” the source told AFP on condition on anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.
“Traffic has not been disrupted and an operation is underway to rescue the vessel.”
In recent months, two vessels briefly ran aground in the canal, sparking fears of a repeat of a major 2021 incident when the giant container ship Ever Given became diagonally wedged in the canal.
The blockage halted trade for nearly a week and cost billions of dollars in shipping delays.
According to the Suez Canal Authority, Egypt lost between $12 million and $15 million every day of the 2021 closure, while insurers estimated that global maritime trade suffered billions in lost revenue per day.
The canal has been widened and modernised several times to accommodate new ships since it was inaugurated in 1869.
It is a source of much-needed foreign currency for Egypt, which is balking under a worsening economic crisis, and earned $8 billion in transit fees in 2022.