TEHRAN Iran’s navy mentioned Wednesday that one among its largest ships sank after catching hearth whereas on a “coaching mission” off a strategic port close to the top of the Gulf, the navy mentioned.
The British-built fleet refueling vessel Kharg, which was greater than 200 meters (greater than 650 ft) lengthy, caught hearth Tuesday off the port of Jask within the Gulf of Oman, the navy mentioned. Photos broadcast on state tv confirmed an enormous plume of smoke rising from what it mentioned was the burning ship. The hearth broke out in “one of many programs on the ship, a Navy assertion mentioned with out elaborating. Firefighting efforts continued “for 20 hours” earlier than the ship sank. Given the unfold of the fireplace, the mission to avoid wasting the Kharg failed and it sank in waters off Jask,” the navy mentioned.
The ship caught hearth at 11 am (0630 GMT) on Tuesday when it was in “nationwide waters” throughout “a coaching mission,” Iran’s Tasnim information company mentioned, citing the navy’s public relations chief, Behzad. Jahanian. It sank round 8:30 am (0400 GMT) on Wednesday. All 400 cadets and crew disembarked safely, and 20 suffered minor accidents or burns.
Jahanian mentioned the reason for the fireplace “will not be but clear. The ship was ordered from Britain in 1976 when the professional Western shah was nonetheless in energy. It wasn’t delivered till 1984, after years of disputes between Britain and the federal government that took energy after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Jeremy Binnie of open supply protection intelligence supplier Janes mentioned the Kharg was vital to Iran as its solely devoted vessel able to resupplying warships at sea. Iranians usually describe it as a ‘helicopter provider‘, however in actuality it’s a refueling ship, a helpful asset nonetheless, because it was the one ship within the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy that fulfilled this operate,” Binnie mentioned.
It’s now not IRIN’s largest ship after they commissioned Makran, a transformed tanker, in January,” he added. Iran’s ISNA information company mentioned the ship left for a mission centered on “coaching, intelligence and fight” alongside the destroyer Alborz on Could 19.