Two ships touched on the Panama Canal as they approached a set of hundred-year-old locks, a very unusual incident in the history of the interoceanic highway that did not affect the transit of other ships.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP), the autonomous entity that manages the water route, said Monday in a statement that an investigation had begun to determine the causes of the accident, which occurred in front of the Pedro Miguel locks, located on the side of the river. Pacific Ocean and built at the beginning of the last century.
The administration of the route did not give more details of what happened, but on social networks videos of the crash were broadcast, which caused dents in the hull of one of the ships, according to the published images.
For the channel, built by the United States between 1903 and 1914 and transferred to Panama on December 31, 1999, passes about 6% of world trade and connect more than 140 sea routes and 1,700 ports in 160 different countries.
The canal, which measures 82 kilometers in length and connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, operates with a system of locks and is supplied by two artificial lakes in the channel of the Chagres, Gatun and Alajuela rivers, which in turn supply water to the capital Panamanian
The two largest customers of the water route are the United States and China and container transport is their main business, although the new locks, inaugurated in June 2016, have given way to new markets, such as large cruise ships or liquefied natural gas. (LNG).
The ACP is one of the most solid and important companies in the country. Last year had an income of more than 3,100 million dollars, mostly for the payment of tolls, and delivered to the Panamanian treasury the record figure of 1,703 million dollars.
Source: La Vanguardia