Oil tanker rams into Norwegian frigate, leaving eight injured

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One said: "The situation is going bad to worse for Norwegian frigate #HelgeIngstad". Its crew of 137 had been evacuated, rescue leader Ben Vikoeren at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for southern Norway said.

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 frigate is believed to be the KNM Helge Ingstad, which took part in NATO's massive Trident Juncture 2018 wargames.

The Malta-flagged tanker, Sola TS, was not damaged and its 23-man crew remained on board. The coastal water where the stricken vessel lies is normally prone to heavy seas, but unseasonably calm conditions prevail.

The shipping site Sysla said the tanker had been loaded with crude oil and was being towed out of the harbor when it somehow rammed the frigate.

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 Sture export oil terminal, as well as the Kollsnes gas plant and several offshore oilfields, were shut down as a precaution but resumed operation on Thursday afternoon, Equinor said in a statement. Norway's Accident Investigation Board said a towboat was also involved in the accident, but didn't say how. "The frigate moved to an inshore location and was listing heavily at 11:30am, amidst emergency efforts to prevent the vessel from sinking".

No oil spill has been reported from the tanker, which was sailing from Equinor's Sture terminal in Øygarden.

The 134-meter-long (440 foot) frigate was returning to its home port of Haakonsvern, southwest of Bergen, when the incident occurred.

NATO's "Trident Juncture", the largest military exercise since the end of the Cold War, launched in Norway on October 25 and is due to run until November 7.

The frigate is part of a Nato fleet in the Atlantic and the alliance has been informed of the accident, he told reporters. He declined to comment on what would happen to the weapons on board the ship.

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