The Americas

Authorities blame weather for Panama Canal ship scrape

FILE - In this June 26, 2016, file photo, a worker watches as the COSCO Shipping Panama cargo ship leaves the new Cocoli Locks, part of the new Panama Canal expansion project, in Panama City. Canal administrator Jorge Quijano said Tuesday, July 26, that a Chinese container ship brushed with the canal’s new wider locks due to bad weather and the ship not lining up correctly. (AP Photo/Tito Herrera, File)

FILE - In this June 26, 2016, file photo, a worker watches as the COSCO Shipping Panama cargo ship leaves the new Cocoli Locks, part of the new Panama Canal expansion project, in Panama City. Canal administrator Jorge Quijano said Tuesday, July 26, that a Chinese container ship brushed with the canal’s new wider locks due to bad weather and the ship not lining up correctly. (AP Photo/Tito Herrera, File)  (The Associated Press)

Panama Canal authorities say a Chinese container ship's damaging scrape with the canal's new wider locks was caused by bad weather and the vessel not lining up correctly.

Canal administrator Jorge Quijano said Tuesday there was intense rain, poor visibility and winds between 30 and 40 knots when the ship carrying 9,000 containers was using the locks Thursday.

Quijano says it was the only such incident in the widened canal's first month of operation. He says unfortunately these things happen in their business.

Before the canal's inauguration, some tug boat captains expressed concern about having relatively little room to maneuver with the huge New Panamax ships.