A massive cargo ship got wedged in the Suez Canal and halted all traffic in one of the busiest and most important shipping lanes in the world.
The Ever Given is one of the largest shipping container ships in the world, capable of transporting 20,000 containers at one time, and it's stuck about 94 miles into the 120-mile man-made waterway connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
The ship ran aground after being battered by strong winds from a dust storm, which also caused low visibility.
Eight tugboats were sent to try to maneuver the enormous ship, which is operated by Evergreen Marine Corp., out of its predicament.
The crew reported no injuries nor was there any damage to the cargo, which was being shipped from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The ship is about as long as the Empire State Building is tall, and sails under the Panamanian flag.
It "could not happen in a worse place, and the timing's pretty bad, too," opined Capt. John Konrad of a shipping news website to the New York Times.
The Times reported that 100 ships were stuck on either side of the Ever Given on Wednesday. About 30% of the world's daily container ship traffic flows through the Suez Canal and an alternate route around the African cape would make the trip a full week longer.
The incident became popular fodder for social media and jokes.
Live from the Suez Canal. #Suez https://t.co/UW4McQGAmI— Farage’s Amazon Echo (@Farage’s Amazon Echo) 1616592579.0
Richard Mead, the managing editor of Lloyd's List, told CNN that if the ship were dislodged and shipping return to normal within a few days, the financial damage could be absorbed. But if it took longer than a few days, it could mean disaster for many companies.
Here's more about the bizarre incident:
Suez Canal Blocked by Stuck Container Ship www.youtube.com