Race to stop Norway frigate sinking after oil tanker collision

Oil tanker & Norwegian Navy frigate ‘collide’ off country’s coast 7 reported injured

Norway's military says the 127-man crew on a Navy frigate has been evacuated after the ship was rammed by a Malta-flagged tanker while docked in a Norwegian harbour.

Pictures show water has also overwhelmed the frigate's helicopter platform on its stern.

The tanker, which was carrying a crew of 23, was returned to port for an inspection.

The ship, which had recently taken part in the vast North Atlantic Treaty Organisation drill Trident Juncture in Norway, is "strongly listing", Rear Admiral Stensoenes told a news conference.

The frigate was on its way home to the Haakonsvern base of the Royal Norwegian Navy on the western coast after taking part in NATO's Trident Juncture 2018 military exercise, which took place from October 25 to November 7 in Norway.

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

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

The rescue operation began before 5:00 and just over an hour later, all the people aboard the frigate were evacuated, except for 10 essential staff members who stayed to avoid a possible fuel leak.

Stensoenes said the cause of the accident was not clear and the Navy would wait for the findings of Norway's Accident Investigation Board.

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

He would not confirm further details as reported by a Norwegian defence and security website, which broke the news that the two vessels could see each other and followed communication protocols on an open channel.

The Sture terminal and the Kollsnes plant resumed operations Thursday afternoon after being shut down in connection with the collision between the frigate and the tanker.

Norway's Accident Investigation Board has launched an investigation into the collision, which also involved a tugboat.

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