The Suez Canal Authority said in a statement Thursday that navigation in the canal has been temporarily suspended. An official told the Associated Press that resolving the issue would take at least two days.
Images showed the bow of the Ever Given a ship weighing 220,000 tons and over 1,300 feet long touching the eastern wall of the canal, while its stern looked to be lodged against the western wall. Tugboats strained Wednesday to try to nudge the obstruction out of the way.
The company that manages the vessel told AP there were no reports of injuries and all 20 members of the crew are safe.
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the ship to become wedged, an event that experts say they had never heard of happening before in the canal’s 150-year history.
Evergreen Marine Corp., a major Taiwan-based shipping company that operates the ship, said the Ever Given had been overcome by strong winds. An Egyptian official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to brief journalists, similarly blamed a strong wind.
The Associated Press reported. “Initial investigations rule out any mechanical or engine failure as a cause of the grounding,” the company said. An early report suggested the ship suffered a power blackout before the incident, something Ever Given manager Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement denied Thursday.