Norwegian submarine-hunting frigate rammed by Maltese oil tanker

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A Norwegian navy ship was reported to be at risk of sinking following a collision with a Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) aframax tanker on Thursday.

The Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad was rammed by the Maltese oil tanker Sola TS off the western coast of Norway early Thursday morning.

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

Eight people were slightly injured, and the 127-strong crew were taken off the frigate.

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The tanker, with 23 crew, suffered damage well above the waterline. The ship had recently participated in the Trident Juncture exercise, one of NATO's largest training events in recent years.

Eight people received minor injuries in the accident, which took place shortly after 4:00 am (0300 GMT) in a busy waterway in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen, Norway's military said.

Oil output from the fields delivering to the Sture terminal was around 350,000 barrels per day in August, the latest data available from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate showed. The oil tanker received only slight damage, while the frigate has been seriously damaged. The frigate was lying in the water nearly on its side with its stern under the water.

"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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A long gash that appears to be 50-70 feet long opened her hull to the frigid waters of the North Sea, and the Ingstad began to take on water.

Some 10,000 liters of helicopter fuel from the frigate has leaked into the sea, said Johan Marius Ly of the Norwegian Coast Guard.

The Sture Terminal was closed after the collision, the report said.

An investigation into the causes of the incident will be launched today, in collaboration with the Defense Accident Investigation Board Norway (DAIBN) and the Marine Safety Investigation Unit (MSIU) from Malta.

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