Ship grounds in Canada-US Seaway, traffic halted

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 31, 2011 12:01 PM
Ship grounds in Canada-US Seaway, traffic halted

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Navigation was halted on Thursday in a key canal in the St. Lawrence Seaway after a vessel veered off course and became grounded, Seaway Management Corp said.

The BBC Steinhoelft was grounded in the Montreal South Shore canal, causing delays for five other vessels, the Seaway corporation, which is owned by the Canadian and U.S. governments, said in a release.

Seaway spokesman Andrew Bogora said he expects up to seven ships in total will likely be delayed by late Thursday afternoon.

The canal's closing means no traffic can pass through that part of the Seaway, although ships continue to navigate other sections, he said.

No pollution was reported and the Seaway said it expects to restore navigation within the canal by Thursday evening.

The Seaway did not have information on the type of cargo the delayed ships are carrying.

The Seaway connects North America's Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean and is an important route for exports of Western Canadian grain, as well as the movement of iron ore and other bulk cargoes.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel; editing by Peter Galloway and Rob Wilson)