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17 ships now in traffic jam on St. Lawrence Seaway

Robert Fratangelo
U.S. Coast Guard Auxillery
The 656-foot freighter Federal Kivalina ran aground Tuesday after loosing its steering.

There are now 17 shipping freighters in a traffic jam on the St. Lawrence Seaway because a disabled vessel has been blocking their path since Tuesday afternoon.

The freighter Federal Kivalina has been stuck in the American Narrows section of the seaway, near Collins Landing, N.Y., since it lost steering and ran aground. It's stuck about a third of a mile up river from the Thousand Islands Bridge.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, the agency that overseas the American parts of the seaway, says Thursday afternoon that 17 ships are anchored up or down river while traffic is suspended. 

A salvage team and two tug boats are on site, said the corporation's Nancy Alcalde. A salvage plan is being reviewed, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Investigators from the coast guard's Marine Safety Detachment Massena, New York are currently investigating the cause of the incident.

The Hong Kong-flagged Kivalina was on its way to Montreal with 23,000 tons of canola seed and 22 crew members.

Alcalde says any timeline on when traffic will resume would just be speculation.

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