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

Norwegian frigate

Norwegian frigate

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

Update: 0700 UTC - according to latest reports frigate was taken to shallow waters to avoid sinking, water ingress is incontrollable.

The Accident Investigation Board said because the tanker is Maltese-registered, the Marine Safety Investigation Unit (MSIU) of Malta will participate in the investigation.

An image published by Norwegian broadcaster NRK showed that water had nearly reached the level of the frigate's helicopter platform.

Pictures show the 5,290 ton, 440 foot frigate lying low in the water as it sinks beneath the waves.

The country's coast guard said meanwhile it had detected small diesel spills in the water and it was trying to contain further pollution. "There is no control over the leak and the stern is heavily in the sea".

It was being towed out of the harbour when it somehow managed to ram the frigate.

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

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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.

Norway's largest oil and gas company Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, said it shut down non-emergency activities at the Sture terminal "as a precautionary measure".

"It took on a lot of water and there is a real danger that it sinks where it is", an official for the rescue centre added.

The tanker, with 23 crew, suffered damage well above the waterline.

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

Built in Spain in 2009, the KNM Helge Ingstad participated in chemical disarmament operations in Syria between December 2013 and May 2014.

NATO's "Trident Juncture", the largest military exercise since the end of the Cold War, launched in Norway on October 25 and is due to run until November 7.

An image of the ship tipped to one side was posted with the comment.

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