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Monday, August 31, 2009

Empty oil tanker sinks near Suez canal

Sunday, 30 August 2009

An empty Panamanian oil tanker sank near the southern entrance of Egypt's Suez canal on Friday as it headed to dry docks for maintenance, maritime sources said. The sources added that the sinking of the ship, which they identified as the "Elli", had not disrupted normal shipping through the busy trade route.
The vessel had a capacity of 59,000 tonnes but was only carrying its own fuel supply of around 60 tonnes, they added.
Authorities from the canal, which connects the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, sent out vessels to rescue 24 sailors from the ship before it sank, the sources said.
The ship had travelled from Yemen for repairs in Suez port and had split in half during cleaning, state news agency MENA reported.
Egypt has reported declining revenue from the canal, one of its main foreign currency earners, in recent months as the global slowdown cuts trade volumes between Asia and Europe.
Egyptian authorities plan to use heavy machinery to recover the vessel and investigate the reason for its sinking.
Source: Reuters