Seven people were killed and six still missing after an Iranian diving support ship with 73 people aboard sank in the Gulf, state media reported Saturday.

The vessel Kousha, carrying Iranian, Indian and Ukrainian experts, sank Thursday 25 kilometres before reaching the southern Iranian island of Assalouyeh.

There were contradictory reports on casualties but the Mehr news agency said the deaths of five Iranians and two foreigners were confirmed by officials.

Pirooz Moussavi, managing director of the Pars Special Economic Zone, told official news agency IRNA that six Indian divers were trapped in the ship’s diving chamber but still had oxygen for 48 hours.

The other 60 people on board were rescued, he said.

The ship and its crew were installing underwater pipelines in the Gulf.

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