On Saturday evening, at about 19.00 MSK, an explosion rocked the oil tanker General Azi Aslanov sailing under the Russian flag from the Port Kavkaz to Rostov-on-Don without a cargo. There were 13 crew onboard. Ten of them were rescued.

The General Azi Aslanov tanker in distress in the Sea of Azov has not caught fire, the press service of the Russian Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport told TASS on Saturday.

"There was no fire after the blast. But the blast was powerful enough to tear part of the metal inside out," the spokesperson said.

According to the spokesperson, the rescue for the three sailors are ongoing. Thermal imaging cameras will be used and divers will be engaged. According to the agency’s representative, the area is notorious for a strong current.

The cause of the emergency is being investigated. Safety violations and hot work might have caused the explosion, a source from the emergency services told TASS earlier.