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Suez Canal reopens for traffic after cargo ship refloated

Waterway authority chief says backlog of vessels could be cleared in 3.5 days

The containership Ever Given has been refloated and will be checked for damage at Great Bitter Lake. (Photo courtesy of Suez Canal Authority)

IMABARI, Japan/ISMAILIA, Egypt/TOKYO -- Traffic on the Suez Canal resumed Monday after the stranded cargo ship Ever Given was fully refloated, ending the six-day blockage of one of the world's busiest maritime lanes and shortest regular sea route between Europe and Asia.

A total of 422 vessels, from containerships to oil tankers, were waiting to pass through the canal, and the backup could be cleared in three and a half days, said Lt. Gen. Osama Rabie, the Suez Canal Authority chairman.

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