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CAIRO: A super tanker that blocked the Suez Canal is heading back to Asia, authorities said, five months after it became wedged across the vital waterway and crippled world trade.

The MV Ever Given had "successfully crossed" the canal after unloading its cargo in Britain and was now on its way to China, Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie said on Friday. Rabie said that the vessel's passage on Friday was overseen by "senior" guides of the authority.

The vessel was seen sailing in open waters accompanied by Egypt-flagged tugboats in aerial video footage posted on the SCA's Twitter account. The Ever Given - a behemoth with deadweight tonnage of 199,000 - got stuck diagonally across the canal during a sandstorm on March 23. A round-the-clock salvage operation took six days to dislodge it. After it was freed, Egypt seized the ship and demanded compensation from owners Shoei Kisen Kaisha for lost canal revenues, salvage costs and damage to the waterway.

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