Formal investigation launched into how ship ran aground in Suez Canal

A ship is seen after sailing through Suez Canal as traffic resumes after a container ship that blocked the waterway was refloated, in Ismailia, Egypt.

Formal investigations into how the giant container ship Ever Given ran aground in the Suez Canal, shutting down shipping in the major global waterway for almost a week, begin on Wednesday, a canal official said.

Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Chairman Osama Rabie has suggested weather conditions, including high winds, and human error could have played a role in the grounding on March 23.

The investigation will include examining the seaworthiness of the ship and its captain’s actions to help determine the causes, Rabie advisor Captain Sayed Sheasha said.

The Ever Given’s captain was committed to fully complying with the probe, which will start on Wednesday, Sheasha said.

The six-day blockage threw global supply chains into disarray after the 400-metre-long (430-yard) ship became jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal, the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

The incident is expected to give rise to flurry of insurance claims, with Lloyd’s of London expecting a “large loss”, possibly amounting to $100 million or more, according to its chairman.

The Japanese owner of the Ever Given said it had not received any claims or lawsuits over the blockage.

Investigators had already boarded the ship, which is in a lake that separates two sections of the canal, on Tuesday, a canal source and a shipping agent said.

The SCA has scheduled accelerated shipping convoys to clear a backlog of more than 400 ships that built up at either end of the canal and along its course after the Ever Given became stranded.

It has said it hopes the queues can be cleared by the end of the week.

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