updated 9/13/2006 2:51:59 AM ET 2006-09-13T06:51:59

A dredging boat sank in the Suez Canal Wednesday, killing at least two people and injuring at least six others.

About 50 people were aboard the dredger, which was working on deepening the canal from 66 feet to 72 feet deep when it sank around 3 a.m., police said.

Egyptian state television said authorities were still searching for two crew members.

Four tugs were sent to move the ship. Engineers were able to keep the international waterway open by altering the route vessels use to pass through the canal, the official news agency MENA reported.

About 8 percent of world sea trade passes through the canal, which is 120 miles long and at its narrowest is divided into two 197-foot-wide lanes, according to the Canal Authority. The ships pass in convoys that take 12 hours to make the journey.

The canal is a major source of foreign exchange for Egypt, earning $3 billion in 2004.

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