The 150 meter long, 25269 dwt chemical tanker Stolt Valor suffered an explosion while proceeding through the Persian Gulf near Jubail, Saudi Arabia ( 27.5072° / 50.26581). Twenty four of the 25 crew on board abandoned ship into the vessel’s life rafts. All were quickly rescued by a nearby naval vessel. One crewman was reported missing but was confirmed dead the next day. Authorities have dispatched fire fighting tugs to the scene. The Stolt Valor had departed from Jubail with 13000 metric tons of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) bound for Bahrain. Reports state MTBE is highly toxic and is a known to cause cancer.
The Stolt Valor was held off Somalia in 2008 after being hijacked by pirates. The vessel remained in pirates hands for two months until it was released.