Helge Ingstad: Warship collides with tanker in fjord

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Eight people were injured in the crash and the warship's crew of 127 have been evacuated from the listing vessel.

"The damage was such that the frigate was no longer stable and was not able to float sufficiently", a Norwegian Navy officer, Sigurd Smith, told reporters.

Norwegian navy frigate KNM Helge Instad was crashed into by the other vessel and is rapidly taking on water.

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.

After colliding with the Malta-flagged tanker Sola TS and the tug Tenax, the frigate started taking on water. The tanker, now in port undergoing inspection, was not damaged in the incident and none of its 23-member crew injured.

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.

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 Sture Oil Terminal processes about 500,000 barrels a day of North Sea oil, including oil from the Ivar Åssen, Grane and Edvard Grieg fields. All 137 crew members of the frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad were evacuated.

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.

The tanker was not damaged, and its 23-strong crew remains onboard, according to AP. The police, which investigate marine accidents in Norway, have cordoned off the area around the stricken frigate for fear of explosions.

The frigate, built in Spain in 2009, has a helipad platform on its stern. Launched in 2007, the warship is named after the famous Norwegian Arctic explorer.

Images of the frigate published online and broadcast on television showed the frigate was partly underwater and had been moved near the shore. He declined to comment on what would happen to the weapons on board the ship.

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