LONDON: An Iranian warship due to launch next year has capsized before leaving its dry dock at Bandar Abbas port, according to a video and imagery published online at the weekend.
Satellite images appeared to confirm that the naval vessel Talayieh, which was going through the final stages of construction before its launch, was lying on its side and partially flooded. It is not clear how the ship had toppled over.
In the video, people can be seen hanging from the railings and at least one person died in the incident, according to reports on social media.
The Planetscope satellite image, taken on Dec. 4, was tweeted by Chris Biggers, the mission applications director at HawkEye 360.
The photo shows the ship on its side in the same location as where the Talayieh was pictured being built in an image published by Iranian media in August.
Iranian naval officials said the Talayieh would be an “intelligence reconnaissance” vessel specializing in electronic warfare, while also providing assistance to other Iranian ships.
According to experts, if a ship of the size of the Talayieh lies in the water for an extended period of time, it can lead to a number of issues that would require considerable time and energy to rectify.
It is the latest in a series of accidents involving Iranian naval vessels. In June, the Kharg — one of Iran’s largest naval vessels — caught fire and sunk in the Gulf of Oman.
In May 2020, 19 naval servicemen died and another 15 were injured when an Iranian warship accidentally opened fire on one of its own support vessels during a training exercise in the same body of water.