At 04:03 this Thursday morning (local time) off the coast of Norway, the frigate of the Norwegian Navy KNM Helge Ingstad lost control and collided with the tanker Sola TS, reports the local newspaper VG with reference to Lieutenant Colonel and spokesman for the Norwegian Armed Forces, Vegard Finberg.
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.
The tanker was not damaged, and its 23-strong crew remains onboard, according to AP. There were fears it would sink as it took on water after the crash but it ran aground just off the shore near Bergen.
The Maltese-flagged vessel had left Equinor's Sture oil shipment terminal with a cargo of North Sea crude, Reuters news agency reports.Sture, a major export oil terminal, was shut down temporarily as a precautionary measure. Eight crew from the frigate were injured.
HNoMS Helge Ingstad was taking part in the NATO Trident Juncture exercises.
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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 incident took place in Hjeltefjorden, east of the Norwegian city of Bergen.
Some 10,000 litres of helicopter fuel from the frigate's tanks leaked into the sea, Johan Marius Ly of the Norwegian Coast Guard said.
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. He declined to comment on what would happen to the weapons on board the ship. The oil terminal and nearby Kollsnes gas plant both shut down as a precaution. The Marine Safety Investigation Unit (MSIU) of Malta will also participate in the investigation, the AIBN added.