BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:00 P.M.) – The Hafnia Shipping Company said that one of its oil tankers was hit by an unknown “external source”, which caused a fire and an explosion during the unloading of the ship in the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
“BW Rhine has been hit from an external source whilst discharging at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at approximately 00:40 local time on 14 December 2020, causing an explosion and subsequent fire onboard,” Hafnia said in a statement on its website, as reported by Reuters.
The company said that the crew put out the fire, and no one was injured. They added that parts of the ship’s hull were damaged.
For its part, the British Maritime Trade Operations Authority said that an explosion struck a ship off the Saudi port of Jeddah on the Red Sea.
The authority, an information exchange institution affiliated with the British Royal Navy, explained that the explosion occurred on Sunday, without going into details. They urged ships in the area to exercise caution and said investigations were underway.
Previously, a Greek tanker was hit by a similar explosion off the coast of Jeddah, with some parties accusing Yemen’s Ansarallah Movement of carrying out the attack.
“The Agrari was struck about one metre (three feet) above the waterline and has suffered a breach,” said TMS Tankers, the vessel’s Greece-based owner.
“It has been confirmed that the crew are safe and there have been no injuries. No pollution has been reported.”
A Greek ministry press official said the tanker was flying a Maltese flag and there were 25 crew members onboard including seven Greeks.