The Suez canal, built in 1869, is a 120-mile strip of water that has been called a “ditch in the desert”. Nearly 20,000 ships pass through it a year, so when the Ever Given, one of the biggest vessels ever built, became wedged last week and blocked it, global trade through the canal ground to a halt.
The Guardian international correspondent, Michael Safi, tells Anushka Asthana the story of the crash, including the efforts to free the ship and the impact the blockage had on the movement of trade across the globe. The retired Turkish mariner Alper Gergin explains why steering a ship of such as size is harder than handling a Boeing 747.
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