Suez Canal blocked by huge container ship

A giant container ship has run aground in the Suez canal, causing a traffic jam of vessels at either end of the vital international trade artery.

The 220,000-tonne, 400m-long Ever Given became stuck in the canal on Tuesday and several attempts to refloat it failed.

The Ever Given, which is carrying hundreds of containers bound for Rotterdam from China, is owned by the Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen and registered in Panama.

Pictures taken from another ship in the canal, the Maersk Denver, show the Ever Given lodged at an angle across the waterway. It dwarfs the tugs and diggers sent in by the Egyptian authorities to try to free it,

The shipping monitoring site Vesselfinder shows the stricken ship and the traffic jam of other vessels at either end of the canal.

The Suez canal is one of the most important waterways in the world and links the Mediterranean with the Red Sea and shipping lanes to Asia. It is 120 miles long (190km), and 24 metres (79ft) deep and 205m (673 ft) wide.

The canal can handle dozens of giant container ships a day so any lengthy hold up will cause serious delays.