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Ever Given: Ship that blocked Suez Canal sets sail after deal signed

A huge container ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March – disrupting global trade – is finally leaving the waterway after Egypt signed a compensation deal with its owners and insurers.

The Ever Given weighed anchor shortly after 11:30 local time (09:30 GMT) and headed north towards the Mediterranean escorted by tugs.

The ship has been impounded for three months near the canal city of Ismailia.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Egypt had demanded $550m (£397m).

As it got under way, Egyptian TV showed footage of the captain and a crew member being presented with flowers and a plaque on board the ship.

The 193km (120-mile) Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea at the canal’s northern end to the Red Sea in the south and provides the shortest sea link between Asia and Europe.

But the vital waterway was blocked when the 400m-long (1,312ft) Ever Given became wedged across it after running aground amid high winds. Global trade was disrupted as hundreds of ships were stuck in the traffic jam.

The container ship was refloated following a six-day salvage operation that involved a flotilla of tug boats and dredging vessels. One person was killed during the operation.