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Stranded Suez canal container ship 'Ever Given' partially freed

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-/AFP or licensors


The Ever Given, a huge container ship that has been stuck across the Suez Canal for almost a week has reportedly been straightened and released. 

Video appeared to show the ship floating, but its owner later told AFP that it had only been "turned".

The Ever Given has been blocking one of the world's busiest trade routes, the Suez Canal, forcing companies to reroute ships.

An estimated $9.6bn (£7bn) of goods is being held up each day at the Suez Canal.

Maritime services company Inchcape earlier said that the vessel had been freed from the shoreline.

The reports that the ship had been freed raised hopes that traffic along the canal could resume within hours.

The Suez Canal Authority explains that the container ship's course had been corrected by 80%. It added that efforts to fully refloat it had begun.

Traffic would resume once the ship can be moved to a waiting area, the authority said.

The 200,000-tonne Ever Given ran aground on Tuesday morning amid high winds and a sandstorm that affected visibility. Specialist salvage companies were brought in to help refloat the ship.

On Sunday, canal officials began preparing to remove some of roughly 20,000 containers on board in order to lighten the load.

About 12% of global trade passes through the 193km (120-mile) Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea and provides the shortest link between Asia and Europe.

An alternative route, around the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa, can take two weeks longer.