Iran’s largest navy ship, known as the Kharg, caught on fire on Wednesday and sunk in the Gulf of Oman, according to state media.
Iranian military officials said the fire broke out at around 2:25 a.m. while the ship was near Iran’s Port of Jask, a major shipping lane. No casualties were reported and the entire crew was able to escape the wreck and was taken to safety on the coast.
He said: “The blaze began around 2:25 a.m. and firefighters tried to contain it, the Fars news agency reported, but their efforts failed to save the 207-meter (679-foot) Kharg, which was used to resupply other ships in the fleet at sea and conduct training exercises. State media reported 400 sailors and trainee cadets on board fled the vessel, with 33 suffering injuries.”
Officials tried for 20 hours to put out the fire, but were unable to as the flames spread to different parts of the ship.
The Kharg was being deployed for training operations when the blaze erupted.
While Iranian officials have not offered any cause that might have started the fire, this was the latest in a series of mysterious explosions that has been targeting ships in the Gulf of Oman since 2019, AP reports.
The U.S. accused Iran of being responsible for a series of attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz in 2019, saying the regime was engaged in “an unacceptable campaign of escalating tensions.”
Iran has denied targeting ships in the area, but U.S. Navy footage caught members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps removed an unexploded limpet mine from a vessel in 2019.
Yes, but: Iran’s ships have experienced incidents in the past that were unrelated to conflicts with foreign nations. In 2020, a training vessel was mistakenly hit by a missile near the Port of Jask, ending in 19 casualties, per AP.