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COPENHAGEN, Denmark – A Norwegian Navy frigate was rammed by a tanker while it was docked in a harbor on the country's west coast Thursday, the military said. The crew of 127 was evacuated amid fears the ship will sink.
Eight people on the KNM Helge Instad were slightly injured when the accident occurred at 4 a.m. local time in Sture, north of Bergen, the Joint Rescue Coordination Center for southern Norway said. The military said the ship, which had recently taken part in the vast NATO drill Trident Juncture, is taking on water.
Eirik Walle, with the rescue center, told Norwegian news agency NTB that the collision caused an opening in the frigate's hull and "it is taking in more water than they can pump out. There is no control over the leak and the stern is heavily in the sea."
The Maltese-flagged tanker, Sola TS, was not damaged and its 23-man crew remained on board.
Details of the accident were still unclear. Norway's Accident Investigation Board said a towboat was also involved in the accident, but didn't say how.
The shipping site Sysla said the tanker had been loaded with crude oil and was being towed out of the harbor when it somehow rammed the frigate. The tanker was on its way to Britain, Sysla said.
The Norwegian Navy has planned a news conference for later in the day.
Johan Marius Ly of the Norwegian Coast Guard said the extent of leakage was unknown.
The 134-meter (442-foot) long frigate, built in Spain in 2009, has a helipad platform on its stern.
Norway's largest oil and gas company Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, said it shut down non-emergency activities at the Sture terminal where the collision occurred "as a precautionary measure."
Several offshore rigs that were pumping their production into the Sture terminal, a major tanker port for crude oil, temporarily suspended the flow, Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv reported.
The Accident Investigation Board added that because the tanker is Maltese-registered, the Marine Safety Investigation Unit (MSIU) of Malta will also participate in the investigation.