As attempts to unlock the Suez Canal continue, 321 ships are waiting to pass through, the head of the waterway authority, Osama Rabie, said on Saturday.

The 1,300-feet-long container ship Ever Given has been stuck in the passageway since Tuesday, when it ran aground. Several attempts have been made to move it and the ship even budged a little on Friday, Israeli media reported. "At the moment, 321 ships are waiting for their turn to pass through the Suez Canal due to the situation," Rabie told a press conference.

The incident has been caused by a variety of factors, rather than simply a human error, Rabie said.

He added that the efforts to refloat the stuck "megaship" were running around the clock, without a break.

In total, 10 tugboats are involved in the operation. The situation, he noted, is complicated by the size of the ship and the number of containers aboard.

The operation is showing encouraging results, but it is premature to speak about when it ends, according to Rabie. Media earlier reported that Ever Given may be refloated on Saturday. (ANI/Sputnik)