Iranian navy's largest ship SINKS after fire on board

Iranian navy’s largest ship SINKS in the Gulf of Oman after fire breaks out

  • Fire began on support vessel Kharg, Iran navy’s largest ship, Tuesday morning
  • All sailors were evacuated as firefighters attempted to put out the blaze 
  • But they could not save the ship, which sank 20 hours later near the port of Jask  

The largest ship in the Iranian navy caught fire and later sank Wednesday in the Gulf of Oman under unclear circumstances, semiofficial news agencies reported.

The Fars and Tasnim news agencies said efforts failed to save the support ship Kharg, named after the island that serves as the main oil terminal for Iran.

The blaze began around 2:25 a.m. and firefighters tried to contain it, state TV said. 

The vessel sank near the Iranian port of Jask, some 1,270 kilometers (790 miles) southeast of Tehran on the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz – the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf.

The Iranian navy’s largest ship – a support vessel named Kharg – caught fire and sank near the port of Jask this morning, state media reported

Photos circulated on Iranian social media of sailors wearing life jackets evacuating the vessel as a fire burned behind them. 

State TV and semiofficial news agencies referred to the Kharg as a “training ship.”

The Kharg serves as one of a few vessels in the Iranian navy capable of providing replenishment at sea for its other ships. 

It also can lift heavy cargo and serve as a launch point for helicopters. 

The ship, built in Britain and launched in 1977, entered the Iranian navy in 1984 after lengthy negotiations that followed Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The sinking of the Kharg marks the latest naval disaster for Iran. 

In 2020 during an Iranian military training exercise, a missile mistakenly struck a naval vessel near the port of Jask, killing 19 sailors and wounding 15. 

Also in 2018, an Iranian navy destroyer sank in the Caspian Sea.

Two Iranian fighter jet pilots were killed on Tuesday when their ejector seats activated before take-off, smashing them into the hangar roof.

State broadcaster IRIB reported the F-5 fighter jet had a ‘technical problem’ that killed both the pilots, identified as as Kianoush Basati and Hossein Nami.

The report said the incident unfolded at Dezful Vahdati Air Force Base, approximately 270 miles south of the capital Tehran, and near the Iraq border.

Kianoush Basati (right) and Hossein Nami (left) were killed after the ejector seats in their jet malfunctioned, Iranian state media said

According to BBC Persian, ejector seats were ‘wrongly activated’ for both the front and rear cockpit pilots. Both men ‘lost their lives due to a severe impact with the roof of the hangar’, the report added.

State TV channel IRNA said the incident happened before takeoff but did not elaborate.

Social media users identified Basati as a colonel and Nami as a lieutenant.

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