Two oil tankers have been evacuated in the Gulf of Oman following reported attacks on the vessels which prompted international alarm and sent oil prices spiralling upwards, Al Jazeera reports.
Two oil tankers attacked in Gulf of Oman
STEPANAKERT, JUNE 13, ARTSAKHPRESS: Scores of crew members from the Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair and the Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous abandoned the ships on Thursday after sending out distress calls amid explosions on board. The cause of the blasts was unclear, but one operator said it suspected its ship had been hit by a torpedo.
Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported that Iranian search and rescue teams picked up 44 sailors - 21 from the Kokuka Courageous and 23 from the Front Altair - following the incidents and took them to the nearby port of Jask.
The US Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said it also assisted the tankers after receiving two distress calls.
The incident spurred a surge in Brent crude oil prices, with the commodity rising more than three percent to over about $62 a barrel.
The Gulf of Oman lies at the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz. A fifth of the world's oil consumption passes passes through the major strategic waterway.