Norway's Navy frigate collides with oil tanker, on verge of sinking

A Norwegian Navy frigate is about to sink after being hit by an oil tanker on Thursday while docked in a habour.

The 137 crew of the naval vessel KNM Helge Ingstad -which had been returning from NATO military exercises- have been evacuated. Officials say the frigate is dangerously listing near Sture, north of Bergen, Norway's second largest city.

Seven person are said to have been injured in the collision, with two remaining in the  hospital. The injuries sustained are minor according to rescuers.

Eirik Walle, of Norway's rescue centre, told local station NTB that the collision created an opening in the frigate's hull and ‘it is taking in more water than they can pump out, adding ‘there is no control over the leak and the stern is heavily in the sea'.

The Malta-flagged tanker, Sola TS -its way to Britain- did not sustain any major damage while it's 23-man crew remained on board. About 10,000 litres of diesel, however, spilled into the sea.

Several offshore rigs that were pumping their production into the Sture terminal -a major export oil terminal- was shut down temporarily ‘as a precautionary measure'.

Norway's Accident Investigation Board says the Marine Safety Investigation Unit of Malta will participate in the investigation into the cause of the collision as the tanker -returning to port for inspection- is Maltese-registered.

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