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Azerbaijan Rescues Nine Crew Members From Iranian Cargo Vessel As It Sinks Into Caspian Sea


Azerbaijan's State Maritime Agency says it has rescued nine people from an Iranian-flagged cargo vessel before it sunk into the Caspian Sea near the Azerbaijani port city of Lankaran.

Two helicopters and a border patrol vessel were sent to the site of the accident on July 26 to assist in the rescue operation, the agency said.

The agency gave no details about what the vessel, the Shabahang, was transporting or the cause of the incident.

An Iranian official said the Shabahang was on its way from the Iranian port of Anzali to Makhachkala in Russia.

"The ship was carrying tiles ... all members of the crew, seven Iranians and two Indians, were rescued. It sank due to flooding," the deputy head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation, Jalil Eslami, told the official government news agency IRNA.

He did not say where on the vessel the flooding occurred.

Iran’s ambassador to Baku, Javad Jahangirzadeh, was quoted by domestic media as saying that all crew members of the Iranian vessel were rescued before it sank.

With reporting by Reuters, IRNA and IRIB