About 19 killed, some wounded as Iran warship hit by ‘friendly fire’ during training. At least 19 people have died after an Iranian destroyer accidentally opened fire on one of its own warships in a friendly fire accident, according to reports.
The accident happened during a training exercise in the Gulf of Oman, killing 19 and leaving 15 injured state media and the army said Monday, amid tensions with the US in Gulf waters. The incident involving the Konarak vessel occurred on Sunday afternoon near Bandar-e Jask, off the southern coast of the Islamic republic, state television said on its website.
“The vessel was hit after moving a practice target to its destination and not creating enough distance between itself and the target,” said the channel. Iran’s armed forces said in a statement that 19 crewmen on the warship were killed and 15 injured. It said the Konarak had been involved in an “accident” during the exercises, without elaborating. The vessel had been towed ashore for “technical investigations”, it added, calling on people to “avoid speculation” until further information is released. Tasnim news agency said in an English-language tweet that the Konarak was hit by the missile fired by another Iranian warship.
The vessel had been hit by “‘friendly fire’ after Moudge-class frigate ‘Jamaran’ accidentally shot (it) with a missile during live firing exercise in Jask area of #PersianGulf waters”.
The 15 injured were hospitalised in Sistan and Baluchistan, said Mohammad-Mehran Aminifard, head of the province’s medical university. Two of the sailors were in intensive care, he told the semi-official news agency ISNA.
The Konarak is a logistical support vessel made in the Netherlands and purchased by Iran before the 1979 Islamic revolution. Weighing 447 tonnes and 47 metres (154 feet) long, the Hendijan-class vessel is equipped with four cruise missiles, according to state television. It was not immediately clear how many crew members were on board the warship at the time of the accident.