Photos and video of the aftermath of an alleged torpedo attack show flames, ash, and charring on an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman.
The imagery shows the Front Altair, a tanker owned by the Norwegian company Frontline.
It is not clear exactly what happened to leave the tanker so badly damaged. It had been chartered by Taiwan‘s state oil refining company, CPC, which said the ship was “suspected of being hit by a torpedo.”
Press TV, a broadcaster funded by the government of Iran, posted aerial footage of the fire to Twitter on Thursday afternoon.
Still images, credited to Iran’s ISNA news agency and distributed by the Associated Press, show the now-abandoned ship in flames. Its crew was evacuated after the incident began.
Around half of its starboard side can be seen with fire damage. Its bridge, usually white, was blackened on one side. According to the Reuters news agency, the ship was carrying 75,000 tonnes of petrochemicals.
Undated archive photos of the ship shared by Frontline show how the ship looked before the alleged attack:
This photo shows the fire from another angle:
The ship is one of two that was allegedly attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.
An anonymous US defense official told CBS News that it was “highly likely Iran caused these attacks.”
The second ship was the Kokuka Courageous, operated by Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement. It was also evacuated. The company said that the hull was damaged and one crew member was “slightly injured.”
The ship’s manager told Reuters the ship was damaged in a “suspected attack.”
The incidents have caused the price of oil to surge as the ships were in a significant oil transportation route that has seen increased tensions between US tankers and Iran.
The US last month accused Iran of attacking its oil tankers in the region, but Iran denies any involvement.