Norwegian warship hits oil tanker on return from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation drills

Pauline Gross
November 9, 2018

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 army said.

One Norwegian news outlet reports that according to tracking data, the frigate's geolocation system was turned off at the time of the collision, noting, however, that the armed forces of Norway have neither confirmed nor denied that.

"Helge Ingstad took in water after the collision, lost control and then drifted aground".

Coast guard deputy director Johan Marius Ly said helicopter fuel has leaked from the frigate.

All were evacuated after the warship collided with the Malta-flagged Solar TS tanker, which carried 23 people. Those injured were among the oil tanker's crew, local newspaper VG reported.

Stensoenes said the ship was "strongly listing" - or leaning to one side - and that it had been pushed by towboats into shallow water, where it can not fully sink.

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The Sture terminal is a major tanker port, with nearly 25% of Norway's oil production passing through the facility.

A source told AFP news agency a "small oil slick" was detected from the warship and that "it took on a lot of water and there is a real danger that it sinks where it is". The frigate's 137 crew members were evacuated amid fears that it may sink.

Norway's largest oil and gas company, Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, said its non-emergency activities at the Sture terminal where the collision occurred were shut down as a precaution for many hours but were gradually starting up again late Thursday afternoon.

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.

The frigate is part of a Nato fleet in the Atlantic and the alliance has been informed of the accident, he told reporters.

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

Other reports by GizPress

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