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Norwegian frigate sinks after being rammed by tanker

The KNM Helge Instad is almost completely submerged after the incident off Sture, north of Bergen.

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The KNM Helge Ingstad (AP)

The KNM Helge Ingstad (AP)

The KNM Helge Ingstad (AP)

One of Norway’s Navy frigates has almost completely gone under water after an oil tanker rammed into it last week, tearing a large hole in its side, authorities said.

Rear Admiral Nils Andreas Stensoenes, the head of Norway’s navy, said several of the wires used to stabilise the KNM Helge Instad had snapped, causing the vessel to sink further into the fjord.

Only the top of the frigate with its radar and antennae remains above the waterline.

The 442ft frigate began listing heavily after a Maltese-flagged oil tanker collided with it last Thursday in a harbour in Sture, north of Bergen.

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Eight people were slightly injured in the incident (AP)

Eight people were slightly injured in the incident (AP)

Eight people were slightly injured in the incident (AP)

Its 137 crew were evacuated and eight people on board were injured.

The tanker was only slightly damaged in the collision.

Rear Admiral Stensoenes said plans remain to recover the vessel, and investigations are continuing into the accident.

Built in Spain in 2009, the frigate was part of a Nato fleet in the Atlantic, and had recently taken part in the vast Trident Juncture military drill in Norway.

The area surrounding the stricken frigate has been declared a military area.

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