In an official statement, Ince technical manager A. Yaşar Canca said that the ship was anchored about 70 miles off Saleef, just north of the port of Hodeidah on the Red Sea, and awaiting permission to offload cargo in the port. Inebolu, carrying 50,000 tonnes of Russian wheat, was in a waiting area where ships typically anchor for permission to dock, when it sustained the explosion.
Houthi rebels have launched several attacks on Saudi-allied vessels off Hodeidah in the recent past, during Yemen’s three-year-old war, but it was uncertain if they were to blame for the attack. Saudi forces conducted a survey onboard and found an explosion from the inside to the outside, an official explained to Reuters earlier this week.
The Saudi coalition forces suggest that the explosion was internal to the ship as a result of an as-yet unexplained explosion, while the Houthi forces are asserting that the vessel was attacked by the Saudi-led coalition.
When asked, the captain said he did not know the cause of the damage.
As now explained, a missile penetrated the Number 3 topside tank and exploded inside, causing a hole in the hull. There were no injuries reported.
The Saudi coalition responded to the incident and later towed the ship to the port of Jizan, Saudi Arabia.