A drone has struck an Ace Quantum Chemical Tankers vessel in the Indian Ocean far from the Houthi-controlled corner of Yemen that has been the launchpad for attacks against shipping for more than two months.

The attack came as Iran, which backs the Houthis, threatened to widen the maritime conflict by closing the Mediterranean Sea to shipping.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations office said on X that the attack by an unmanned aerial vehicle resulted in an explosion and fire on the vessel, which the Indian Coast Guard later identified as the 21,300-dwt chemical tanker Chem Pluto (built 2012).