Iran is claiming one of its tankers has been hit by ’rocket attacks’ and suffered explosions; damage to two of the vessel’s tanks has purportedly caused oil to spill into the Red Sea some 97 km from the port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Iranian news agencies are reporting multiple explosions on board a state-owned tanker off the coast of Saudi Arabia, based on a statement from the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).
The NITC statement reportedly claimed its Suezmax tanker Sabiti was hit by multiple explosions this morning (11 October), in what Iran’s ISNA news agency said was "possibly a missile strike". The ship’s condition has been reported as stable, and ISNA released photos of the vessel’s top deck showing no damage with a time stamp of 11 October 2019.
NITC reported five explosions on board the vessel "likely caused by rockets", according to ISNA. No casualties were reported. ISNA said an investigation was underway and the cause of the explosion was "likely a terrorist attack".
Multiple Iranian agencies reported the explosion had damaged two of the vessel’s tanks and that an oil spill from the vessel had ensued. Iran’s offical IRNA news agency reported the oil spill had been curtailed.
"Based on the latest reports," it said, the oil spill had stopped, "no fire was reported ... all crew on board are safe and the situation is under control."
Initially, reports said explosions had caused a fire which NITC has apparently dismissed as inaccurate. And Iranian state TV apparently incorrectly identified the vessel as Sabiti’s sister ship Sinopa.
Shipping finance and analysis website VesselsValue showed the vessel’s last AIS report, at 08:45 am GMT, placing Sabiti in the Red Sea, off the coast of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, fully laden and underway, with a final destination of Larak, an island off the coast of Iran.