03:18 GMT21 April 2021
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    CAIRO (Sputnik) - The Suez Canal Authority is considering the option of expanding the canal's width after the Ever Given container ship incident, but sees no need to deepen the canal bed, administration head Osama Rabie told CNN Arabic on Friday.

    "We are exploring the option of expanding the Suez Canal after the Ever Given incident, but there is no need to deepen the channel", Rabie said, adding that at the moment its depth was up to 24 metres (78 feet).

    According to the latest data provided by the channel operator Leth Agencies, 357 vessels have passed through the channel since 29 March, when it was unblocked, and another 206 ships are waiting for passage.

    Earlier, Rabie outlined the intention of the channel authority to supply its technical services with more powerful tugs and dredging vessels to prevent similar incidents occurring in the future.

    The 224,000-tonne Ever Given container vessel ran aground in the Suez Canal on 23 March, blocking traffic along the waterway for six days, which led to numerous delays of ships carrying some $9.6 billion worth of cargo ranging from oil to consumer products. The channel was freed on Monday after the vessel was finally refloated in the direction of the Bitter Lakes.

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    Suez Canal, Egypt
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