OYGARDEN, Norway – Eight people were injured on Thursday in a collision between an oil tanker and a frigate off the coast of Norway in the North Sea, marine officials said at a press conference.
Norwegian rescue teams were made aware of the accident which took place at 3:00 when the Norwegian navy’s KNM Helge Ingstad warship and an oil tank registered in Malta rammed into each other leading to the evacuation of 127 people several hours later.
“The warship has no way of being maneuvered after the accident,” Sigurd Smith Royal Norwegian Navy commander said at a press conference.
“The frigate was damaged below the waterline which resulted in the vessel losing stability,” Smith added.
KNM Helge Ingstad which is 139 meters (456 feet) long was forced to run aground due to a high risk of sinking.
The Maltese ship suffered less damage in the collision and no crew-members were injured.
Equinor, the Norwegian company that manages the oil terminal near the accident, has halted operations at five oil plants in the North Sea.
KNM Helge Ingstad was on its way back after taking part in “Trident Juncture,” one of the largest military maneuvers in western Europe since the Cold War coordinated by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Trident Juncture 18 involved the deployment to Norway, Baltic Sea and North Atlantic region of some 50,000 troops from 29 NATO member states, plus allied forces from Finland and Sweden, 65 naval ships and 250 aircraft.