x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Oil tanker in blast probe arrives in Japan

The Japanese oil tanker hit in a suspected attack in the Strait of Hormuz arrived in Tokyo yesterday where authorities will try to determine what caused the damage.

The Japanese oil tanker hit in a suspected attack in the Strait of Hormuz arrived in Tokyo yesterday where authorities will try to determine what caused the damage. Six officials will continue their two-day inspection of the M Star today as part of an investigation that is expected to take at least a month, Yasufumi Onishi, of the Maritime Bureau, said. "We have not yet decided what happened to the tanker," Mr Onishi added.

The M Star suffered damage on July 28 while carrying 270,000 tonnes of oil from Al Ruwais to Japan. A suspected blast dented its side and blew out windows. One of 31 crew members was injured but has returned to work. The UAE authorities have declared the event a terrorist attack, citing traces of homemade explosives on the ship. A small vessel was seen moving suspiciously around the M Star shortly before the attack, according to radar images from the tanker's voyage data recorder.

A group calling itself the Abdullah Azzam Brigades has claimed responsibility. A spokesman for the ship operator, Mitsui OSK Lines, declined to comment. @Email:chuang@thenational.ae