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Oil Tanker Runs Aground in Suez Canal, Blocking Traffic

December 20, 1989

SUEZ, Egypt (AP) _ A loaded oil tanker ran aground in dense fog Tuesday in the Suez Canal, blocking traffic in both directions, shipping officials said.

Canal officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Liberian- regist ered Lauberhorn was stalled in the waterway a few miles north of Suez, the southern entrance to the 107-mile-long canal that connects the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Suez.

According to Lloyds Registry of Shipping, the accident is the Lauberhorn’s second during its trip from Iran to Turkey. On Nov. 28, it ran aground off el- Mocha, North Yemen, about 60 miles north of the Red Sea entrance.

The ship, carrying oil to Turkey from an Iranian terminal in the Persian Gulf, was refloated early this month and resumed its journey northward five days ago.

The Suez Canal Authority rushed five tugs and other craft to the scene to attempt refloating the 138,536-ton tanker. Canal officials said the accident did not cause an oil leak.

By nightfall, refloating teams were still at work but the tanker was blocking the waterway, a major lane for commercial shipping, in both directions.

Canal officials said two convoys from the northern end of the waterway with a total of 28 ships were diverted to the Great Bitter Lakes, about 28 miles north of Suez. Another 12 ships behind the Lauberhorn were stalled in the waterway.

The Liberian-flagged tanker is managed by Brokerage and Management Co. of New York, according to Lloyd’s Registry.

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