July 29, 2010
The Managing Director of Iranian Navigation and Ports Organization on Wednesday rules out the possibility of terrorist attack on a Japanese tanker in Persian Gulf, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
“Probably the earthquake has caused such an incident,” Ataollah Sadr was quoted as saying.
Talking to Mehr about the blast in Japanese oil tanker, Sadr rejected the possibility of any terrorist attack on the tanker, saying “due to the presence of some inflammable steams and gases on the oil tankers, the possibility of blast cannot be ruled out.”
“Based on the dialogues and messages heard from Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC), there has been news about the quake occurrence,” Sadr said, referring to the Japanese oil tanker M. Star blasted near the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday, leaving one person slightly injured.
The captains of the ships which were in the area have not ruled out the possibility of the earthquake, Mehr quoted the official as saying.
“Now, the flame has been contained in the tanker and it is moving towards one of the ports in the littoral states of the Persian Gulf,” said Sadr.
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“Till now no comprehensive information has been received about the incident. We will announce the details upon receiving the authentic news,” he added.
Also, head of marine department of Iran’s southern province of Hormozgan Ali Akbar Saffai said Wednesday that the incident took place in “Oman’s trivial waters,” rejecting earlier reports that the accident had occurred in the Strait of Hormuz, according to English language satellite Press TV.
The explosion occurred at about local time 00:30 a.m. Wednesday (2100 GMT, Tuesday) when the ship was sailing in Oman waters in the western part of the strait.
The crude oil tanker M. Star was damaged but the engine was not affected, Kenji Yoshimura, a publicity official of the Mitsui O.S. K. Lines Ltd., owner of the ship, told Xinhua. The explosion did not lead to an oil leakage, he said.
The tanker was heading toward Japan after loading crude oil in the port of Das Island in Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates when the blast took place, Yoshimura said.