The largest warship in the Iranian navy caught fire and later sank on Wednesday in the Gulf of Oman under unclear circumstances, semi-official news agencies have reported.
The Fars and Tasnim news agencies said efforts failed to save the support warship Kharg, named after the island that serves as the main oil terminal for Iran.
The blaze began at about 2:25 am and firefighters tried to contain it, Fars said. The vessel sank near the Iranian port of Jask, about 1,270km (790 miles) south-east of Tehran on the Gulf of Oman near the strait of Hormuz – the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf.
Photos circulated on Iranian social media of sailors wearing lifejackets evacuating the vessel as a fire burned behind them. State TV and semi-official news agencies referred to the Kharg as a “training ship”. Fars published video of thick, black smoke rising from the ship early on Wednesday morning.