The Front Altair and the Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous – which was reportedly bombed – burst into flames and were forced to evacuate in the troubled region this morning.
The two oil tankers were damaged in a suspected attack off the Gulf of Oman early Thursday, prompting the rescue of dozens of crew members.
“We are aware of the reported attack on tankers in the Gulf of Oman. U.S. Naval Forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6:12 a.m. local time and a second one at 7:00 a.m.,” Joshua Frey of the Fifth Fleet said.
Speaking to Reuters, the CEO of CPC’s petrochemical division Wu I-Fang said the tanker was “suspected of being hit by a torpedo.”
He said it was carrying 75,000 tonnes of naphtha, a petrochemical feedstock, which trade sources estimate to be worth more than $30 million.
Oil prices soared by 3.5 percent following news of the explosions, according to reports.
White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said “The US Government is providing assistance and will continue to assess the situation.”