Cargo ship “Meri” rams the Holtenau high bridge in the Kiel Canal: On November 30, 2022, in the early hours of the morning, there was an accident in the Kiel Canal a few hundred meters from the Holtenau lock.
Nothing works in the Kiel Canal after a fatal collision between the two canal bridges in Kiel and a crane on board the freighter Meri. The cargo ship coming from Rostock transported a high crane and wanted to pass the Kiel Canal in the direction of Brunsbüttel. But just a few hundred meters after leaving the lock chamber in Kiel-Holtenau, something happened that really shouldn’t have happened: the crane on board the Meri was too high and rammed both bridges. Shortly before, the total height was measured by laser.
Canal closed to shipping and bridges badly damaged
The collision of the Meri on November 30, 2022 in the Kiel Canal had serious consequences. On the one hand, shipping traffic in the Kiel Canal was completely blocked because numerous objects, including the heavy counterweights of the crane, fell overboard during the accident of the Finnish freighter Meri in the Kiel Canal. And due to the severe damage to both bridges, they were also closed completely to traffic, cyclists and pedestrians. The busy federal road B 503 was closed in both directions. Several districts of Kiel north of the canal and numerous communities in the Kiel area were cut off from Kiel as a result. Including the around 60,000 vehicles that cross the Holtenau high bridges on the B 503 every day, as well as local public transport and cyclists. Long traffic jams were practically inevitable. And a trip from Altenholz to Kiel, usually a matter of 10-15 minutes by car, became an odyssey of two hours or more.
Cargo ship Meri in the Nordhafen (north port) of Kiel
Understandably, the Meri was unable to continue her voyage after colliding with the Kiel canal bridge and moored in the northern harbor. The Nordhafen is located in the Kiel Canal, more precisely on the northern bank a few meters from the Holtenau High Bridge. The heavy-duty crane on board the Meri was also badly damaged in the collision.
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