Iranian oil tanker catches fire after explosion in Red Sea

An explosion in an Iranian oil tanker operated by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) has set the vessel on fire near the Saudi port city of Jeddah.

The incident took place some 60 miles from Jeddah early Friday, according to informed sources.

A screenshot of the location of Iranian oil tanker SABITY which caught fire on Oct. 11, 2019 near the Saudi port city of Jeddah in the Red Sea (Via Marine Traffic)

The explosion has reportedly hit the vessel’s hull, causing heavy damages to the vessel’s two main reservoirs, which has resulted in an oil spill in the Red Sea.

Technical experts are currently investigating the cause of the explosion. They believe it was a “terrorist attack”, unnamed sources told ISNA news agency. 

A statement by NITC said the SABITY tanker was hit by two separate explosions at 5:00 and 5:20 am Friday, probably after being struck by missiles.

It said the crew members are currently safe and none of them has been harmed in the explosions. The tanker is currently in a stable condition, the statement added.

[This story is being be updated.]

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