Malta-registered oil tanker collides into Norwegian warship

Malta-registered oil tanker collides into Norwegian warship

Malta-registered oil tanker collides into Norwegian warship

According to Norway media reports, frigate sustained heavy damages, water ingress, probably in danger of sinking, all 137 crew evacuated, 7 were slightly injured.

The military says the KNM Helge Ingstad could sink after the 4 a.m. Thursday collision in Sture, north of Bergen, Norway's second largest city.

The KNM Helge Ingstad frigate has been listing dangerously.

The warship is now in danger of sinking, while the tanker, named the Sola TS, is slightly damaged and did not spill oil. The frigate was lying in the water nearly on its side with its stern under the water.

Eirik Walle, of Norway's rescue centre, told Norwegian news agency NTB the collision smashed a hole in the side of the warship.

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The Maltese oil tanker was carrying about 625,000 barrels of crude, but officials said none spilled after Thursday's collision.

He said: "It is taking in more water than they can pump out".

The incident was reported to the Accident Investigation Board (AIBN), which said on its website that it would conduct an investigation in collaboration with the Defence Accident Investigation Board Norway (DAIBN).

The two vessels collided at about 04:00 local time (03:00 GMT) as the frigate was sailing inner fjords for training, officials say.

Production at a number of surrounding North Sea oil and gas facilities was temporarily stopped after the collision as a precautionary measure but has now resumed.

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The 62,000-tonne tanker received only slight damage and is waiting to be towed to a nearby oil terminal, the rescue centre official said.

The 134-meter-long (440 foot) frigate was returning to its home port of Haakonsvern, southwest of Bergen, when the incident occurred. Launched in 2007, the warship is named after the famous Norwegian Arctic explorer.

It was NATO's largest exercise in decades, involving 50,000 troops, 10,000 combat vehicles, 65 vessels, and 250 aircraft.

"According to our assessments, there's no reason to believe that anything, like an accident, could happen with the weapons" on board, he said.

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