Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 August 2020

Bosphorus strait closed after ship hits the shoreline in Istanbul

The Tribeca Shipping Agency said the waterway was closed to traffic

The Liberia-flagged container ship Songa Iridium runs aground near the Rumelian Fortress on the Bosphorus, Istanbul. Abidin Mutlu Bozdag / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
The Liberia-flagged container ship Songa Iridium runs aground near the Rumelian Fortress on the Bosphorus, Istanbul. Abidin Mutlu Bozdag / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A cargo ship collided with the shore in Istanbul's Bosphorus strait on Friday, according to the governor's office and a witness, prompting authorities to close the picturesque and crowded waterway.

There were no injuries or casualties, the governor's office said, adding that the ship reported engine failure shortly before the collision.

The Bosphorus was temporarily closed to traffic, and the ship was being towed, it added.

The Liberian-flagged Songa Iridum had come from Odessa, Ukraine and was headed for Istanbul's port of Ambarli, according to Refinitiv Eikon shipping data.

Such accidents are rare on the Bosphorus, which is among the world's busiest waterways for shipping, and is vital to Russia and other Black Sea states.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has revived plans in recent weeks to dig a canal on the western fringes of Istanbul to ease traffic on the Bosphorus, despite opposition from the city's new mayor, environmentalists and hundreds of petitioners.

Updated: December 27, 2019 03:04 PM

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