Helge Ingstad: Warship collides with tanker in fjord

Norwegian frigate

Norwegian frigate

A Norwegian Navy frigate was rammed by a tanker while it was docked in a harbor on the country's west coast Thursday, the military said.

The 137 people on board the KNM Helge Ingstad frigate, which was returning from NATO's Trident Juncture exercises, have been evacuated after the collision with the Sola TS tanker, the army said.

The Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Instad is in danger of sinking after being rammed by an oil tanker while returning from the NATO Trident Juncture exercise, according to The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the 62,000-tonne oil tanker, which was flying the Maltese flag but is owned by a Greek shipping company, was only slightly damaged and none of the 23 people on board were injured, the rescue centre said.

According to Tu.no, seven people were lightly injured in the collision in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen in the early hours of Thursday.

Norway's Accident Investigation Board said a towboat was also involved in the accident.

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

Some 10,000 liters (2,642 gallons) of ship's fuel and helicopter fuel is reported to have leaked into the sea.

The frigate had received alerts from the tanker and from the Coastal Maritime Traffic Center Fedje VTS, sources have told the Norwegian news website, Aldrimer.

The Sola TS did not spill oil, it appears, but the collision forced the shutdown of a North Sea crude export terminal and Norway's largest gas processing plant, as well as a number of offshore fields.

Tanker said not to suffer serious damages, as of 0530 UTC she was near collision site, moving in northern direction at dead slow speed, escorted by tug.

Firefighters have also confirmed the frigate is listing as it takes on water.

Built in Spain in 2009, the KNM Helge Ingstad participated in chemical disarmament operations in Syria between December 2013 and May 2014. Launched in 2007, the warship is named after the famous Norwegian Arctic explorer.

An image of the ship tipped to one side was posted with the comment.

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