The Iranian Navy’s “Konarak” logistics vessel sank after reportedly being hit by a new anti-ship missile fired prematurely from a frigate during tests conducted near the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday.
The “friendly fire” has left 19 sailors dead and 15 more wounded. The incident took place near the port of Jask in the Gulf of Oman, some 1,270km south-east of Tehran.
“On Sunday afternoon, during an exercise by a number of the navy's vessels in Jask and Chabahar waters, the Konarak light support vessel had an accident. The number of this accident's martyrs is 19 and 15 have also been injured. The vessel has been towed ashore,” a statement on the army's website said on Monday.
Iranian state media reported that the accident happened when a new missile, being tested by the Navy’s “Jamaran” frigate, hit the Hendijan-class support ship.
“Konarak vessel was struck with a missile yesterday [May 10] afternoon during a military exercise in the waters of Bandar-e Jask off Iran's south coast," Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN) reported early on Monday.
The accident took place when the Dutch-made, 47m Konarak had been putting targets out in the water for other warships to fire upon. The now-sunken ship remained too close to the target.