Details have emerged about a multi-ship collision that took place in the Suez Canal on Sunday that lead to its temporary closure.

The vessels involved are owned by leading shipowners including NYK Line, Wisdom Marine Lines, AM Nomikos Transworld, HMM and Cyprus Sea Lines.

According to well-placed shipping sources, trouble began on Sunday evening when 5,100-teu containership Aeneas (built 2010), commercially managed by HMM, came to a halt in the southern section of the canal.

There are conflicting reports as to whether the ship ran aground or was experiencing a problem with its engines.

The vessel was 20th in a southbound convoy of 27 ships.

Three bulk carriers following behind, Cyprus Sea Lines’ 74,200-dwt Panamax Alexander (built 2001), Wisdom Marine Lines 81,700-dwt Sakizaya Kalon (built 2017) and AM Nomikos Transworld’s Osios David (built 2012) were unable to stop behind the Aeneas and as a result collided with each other.

Tugs were able to tow the Aeneas, which was not involved in any collision, to Suez. It resumed its voyage down the Red Sea on Monday afternoon.

Tugs also came to the rescue of the three bulk carriers. The Osios David proceeded to Suez, where Automatic Identification System data indicates it remained at anchor on Tuesday.

The Panamax Alexander and Sakizaya Kazon proceeded to an anchorage in the Great Bitter Lake.

That was not an event-free journey for the Panamax Alexander, which collided with NYK Line’s 9,040-teu NYK Orpheus (built 2008) while en route.

The southern section of the canal was closed for several hours.

AIS Data indicated that at noon on Tuesday that both bulk carriers remained in the Great Bitter Lake, with a tug stationed alongside the Panamax Alexander.

Wisdom Marine Lines business director Mike Chao told TradeWinds that his company's ship was undergoing a surveyor's inspection to determine the extent of the damage.

The NYK Orpheus, which was also moved to the Great Bitter Lake, had resumed its voyage to Europe and was proceeding through the Northern section of the canal.

NYK, in an email to Tradewinds, said that the ship was due to undergo an underwater inspection in Port Said to determine the extent of any damage.

The multi-ship incident came just days after a laden Okeanis Eco Tankers suezmax, the 159,000-dwt Kimolos (built 2018), grounded in the Suez Canal. The vessel incurred some hull damage and is currently anchored off Suez.