Iranian Official Denies Reports That Tanker Sank in Gulf of Oman

Frontline said the Front Altair was afloat, denying a report by Iran's IRNA news agency that it had sunk

A picture obtained by AFP from Iranian News Agency ISNA on June 13, 2019 reportedly shows fire and smoke billowing from a tanker said to have been attacked in the waters of the Gulf of Oman
Photo by - / ISNA / AFP

An Iranian port official denied on Thursday reports that one of the tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman had sunk, state broadcaster IRIB reported.

The official said a fire in one tanker was fully contained and its 21 crew would be returned to the vessel after safety inspections. A second ship was still burning, he said.

Read more: Two oil tankers again attacked in Gulf of Oman, raising fears of wider conflict

Shipping firms and industry sources said two tankers were hit in suspected attacks in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, sending oil prices as much as 4% higher a month after four other tankers were damaged by limpet mines in the region.

Here is the latest from Reuters on suspected attacks on two tankers on Thursday south of the Strait of Hormuz, through which almost a fifth of the world's oil is shipped:

* Panama-listed tanker Kokuka Courageous was damaged in a "suspected attack" that breached the hull above the water line, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement said

* The ship was attacked twice in three hours before all the crew were evacuated, the president of Japanese owner Kokuka Sangyo told reporters

* There had been an engine room fire on the tanker, which was carrying a cargo of methanol from Saudi Arabia to Singapore

* A second ship, the Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair, was "suspected of being hit by a torpedo" at around 0400 GMT, said Taiwanese refiner CPC Corp, which had chartered the vessel

* The Aframax-class tanker loaded with 75,000 tonnes of naphtha was on fire, said Norwegian owner Frontline

* Frontline said the Front Altair was afloat, denying a report by Iran's IRNA news agency that it had sunk

* It was travelling from Ruwais, United Arab Emirates, to Taiwan, according to trade sources and Refinitiv Eikon data

* All 44 sailors from the two ships have been rescued by Iranian search and rescue teams, Tehran's Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported, citing an unnamed informed source

* The Bahrain-based U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet said it was assisting after receiving distress calls

* Oil prices surged by 4% on the news * Tanker owners DHT Holdings and Heidmar suspended new bookings to the Gulf, three ship brokers said