Iran's largest navy ship catches fire, sinks in Gulf of Oman

  • Iran's largest navy ship catches fire, sinks in Gulf of Oman

Iran's largest navy ship catches fire, sinks in Gulf of Oman

Footage aired by state television showed a massive column of smoke rising from what it said was the burning vessel.

Iran's army also identified the Kharg as a "training ship" and confirmed there were nearly 400 crew and trainees on board, before adding all of them were safely evacuated.

Kharg had been on a "training, intelligence and combat mission" in global waters along with Alborz, an Alvand-class frigate, according to a statement from the naval force of the regular Iranian army May 9.

Iran's largest navy ship the Kharg sank on Wednesday after catching fire in the Gulf of Oman, but the crew were safely rescued, Iranian media reported.

The fire broke out in "one of the systems" of the ship, a navy statement said without elaborating.

Efforts by firefighters to put out the blaze proved to be futile.

No reason for the fire was given, but the crew was reported safe.

The Iranian navy's replenishment vessel IS Kharg passes through the Suez canal at Ismailia, Egypt, in 2011.

It was not delivered until 1984 after years of wrangling between Britain and the government that took power after the Islamic revolution of 1979.

Later that year a wooden replica US aircraft carrier attacked by Iran as part of a propaganda exercise capsized in the Strait of Hormuz, blocking a key shipping channel in the process. The Kharg - sometimes spelled "Khark" - was one of Navy's few ships capable of replenishing other ships at sea. In recent months, however, the navy launched a slightly larger commercial tanker called the Makran it converted into serving a similar function as the Kharg.

Iran's ISNA news agency said its mission had focused on "training, intelligence and combat" alongside the destroyer Alborz.

The vessel sank close to the port of Jask in the south of the country, near the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway.

It is all a far cry from the confident attitude Iran was showing previously, as Breitbart News reported. Last year, a missile mistakenly struck a naval vessel also near the port of Jask during a training exercise.

While Israel made no official accusation at the time, unsourced reports from the Israeli media outlets Haaretz and Channel 13 at the time claimed Iran knew that the vessel was owned by an Israeli businessman.

Saviz, a ship operated by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, was attacked, possibly by a limpet mine, in the Red Sea on April 6 off the coast of Eritrea.