Norwegian frigate evacuated after being hit by tanker

A Norwegian navy frigate has been evacuated after it was hit by a tanker while docked in a harbour, the military has said.

Officials said the KNM Helge Ingstad could sink after the collision in Sture, north of Bergen, Norway’s second largest city.

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

The frigate takes on water (Marit Hommedal/NTB Scanpix/AP)

Eirik Walle, of Norway’s rescue centre, told Norwegian news agency NTB that the collision caused an opening in the frigate’s hull and “it is taking in more water than they can pump out. There is no control over the leak and the stern is heavily in the sea”.

The Malta-flagged tanker, Sola TS, was not damaged and its 23-man crew remained on board.

The NTB quoted fire officials as saying the frigate was listing.

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

Johan Marius Ly of the Norwegian Coast Guard said the 442ft frigate, which had recently taken part in the Nato drill Trident Juncture, was listing, adding: “We have been told that there is a leak from the frigate. It could be helicopter fuel, but the extent of leakage is unknown.”

The frigate, built in Spain in 2009, has a helipad platform on its stern.

Norway’s largest oil and gas company Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, said it shut down non-emergency activities at the Sture terminal “as a precautionary measure”.

The Accident Investigation Board added that because the tanker is Maltese-registered, the Marine Safety Investigation Unit of Malta will participate in the investigation.

- Press Association

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