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‘Ever Given’, the mammoth cargo ship, which blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week now, has been freed from the vital channel's shoreline. The news has brought cheers amid expectations that traffic in the canal would soon resume, causing a fall in crude prices. The Suez Canal blockage caused by the stuck cargo ship has been holding up an estimated $9.6 billion of goods every day, and trading companies have been forced to reroute ships.
In the early hours of Monday, rescue workers from the SCA and the Dutch company Smit Salvage used tug boats to move the two lakh-ton ship from the canal bank, following dredging and excavation work over the weekend. The ship is 400m long – more than the height of the Empire State Building. Salvage teams worked both on land and water continuously for five days and nights and dug up millions of tons of earth from around the ship.
The rescue efforts received a significant boost during the night due to tides swelling up the canal's water level and enabling Ever Given to regain its buoyancy. To ease its weight, officials were preparing to move some of the cargo vessel's 20,000-odd containers. The grounding of the ship had halted billions of dollars a day in maritime commerce. It could take at least another 10 days to clear the backlog.