After many hours of trying to put out the fire that broke out on the Iranian naval ship “Kharg 431”, the ship began to sink in the Straits of Hormuz, in southern Iran.
Iran claims that the Kharg was a naval training and logistics ship and that its sinking was caused by a fire that broke out in its systems, but the navy statement did not reveal details about the circumstances of the fire.
Fars News video of IRIS Kharg (431) under fire. This ship served in the Iranian Navy for 37 years. pic.twitter.com/O78wvmmHne
— Mehdi H. (@mhmiranusa) June 2, 2021
Emergency forces evacuated the crew and there were no casualties in the blaze. Photos circulated on Iranian social media showed sailors wearing life jackets evacuating crews, and behind them flames are seen.
“Kharg 431”, named after Iran’s main oil terminal on the island of Kharg, is the largest ship in the Iranian navy and was built to carry heavy cargo and to serve as a helicopter landing pad. It was built in the UK and launched in 1977, and in 1984 came into the use of the Iranian Navy.
In 2020, during military training, a missile accidentally hit a vessel in the same area, killing 19 sailors, and in 2018 an Iranian navy destroyer sank in the Caspian Sea.
Last April, an Iranian ship was hit by a naval mine, after two cruise ships that were owned by an Israeli were damaged by Iranian forces. In recent months, there have been a number of cases in which Iranian vessels have been damaged and this is attributed to the naval battle between Israel and Iran.