DUBAI: One Iranian warship accidentally struck another with a missile during an exercise, killing 19 sailors and wounding 15 others, Iran’s navy said yesterday.
The incident took place during training in the Gulf of Oman, a sensitive waterway that connects to the Strait of Hormuz through which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes. Iran regularly conducts exercises in the area.
The frigate Jamaran fired at a training target released by a support ship, the Konarak. However, the support ship stayed too close to the target and was hit, state broadcaster IRIB said.
“The incident took place in the perimeter of Iran’s southern Bandar-e Jask port on the Gulf of Oman during Iranian Navy drills on Sunday afternoon, in which 19 sailors were killed and 15 others were injured,” state TV said, quoting the navy.
Fars news agency quoted an unidentified military official as denying some Iranian media reports that the Konarak had sunk. The navy statement said investigations were undergoing regarding the cause of the incident, student news agency ISNA said.
Video posted on Twitter purportedly of the Konarak showed a heavily damaged ship with black smoke rising from one side. —Agencies