Oil tanker and frigate collide off Norway, seven injured

The Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad’ takes on water after collision with the tanker Sola TS on Thursday, November 8. (NTB Scanpix/AFP)
Updated 08 November 2018
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Oil tanker and frigate collide off Norway, seven injured

  • The KNM Helge Ingstad frigate was evacuated after the collision with the Sola TS tanker
  • ‘It took on a lot of water and there is a real danger that it sinks where it is’

OSLO: A Norwegian navy frigate and a Maltese oil tanker collided in a fjord in western Norway on Thursday, local authorities said, with seven people receiving minor injuries.
The KNM Helge Ingstad frigate, which was returning from NATO’s Trident Juncture exercises, was evacuated after the collision with the Sola TS tanker, Norway’s army said.
“It took on a lot of water and there is a real danger that it sinks where it is,” an official for the Sola rescue center said.
An image published by Norwegian broadcaster NRK showed that water had almost reached the level of the frigate’s helicopter platform.
A total of 137 people were on board the frigate while 23 were on the tanker, which was flying the Maltese flag, the official said.
The 62,000-ton tanker received only slight damage and is waiting to be towed to a nearby oil terminal, the rescue center official said.
“A small oil slick from the frigate has been detected but nothing large,” the official added.
The circumstances of the accident, which took place shortly after 4:00 am (0300 GMT) in the Hjeltefjord near Bergen, are not yet clear.
“The armed forces is now reviewing all the means available in the region to assist the KNM Helge Ingstad,” Lt. Col. Ivar Moen said.
Built in 2009, the KNM Helge Ingstad participated in chemical disarmament operations in Syria between December 2013 and May 2014.


Bulgaria seizes 288 kilos of heroin in truck from Iran

Updated 18 April 2019
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Bulgaria seizes 288 kilos of heroin in truck from Iran

  • Two men — the Iranian truck driver and a Turkish man, who was allegedly to receive the drugs in Bulgaria — were detained and indicted for drug trafficking

SOFIA: Bulgarian customs officials confiscated more than 288 kilo (635 pounds) of heroin hidden on a truck from Iran, prosecutors announced Thursday.

The haul is the biggest amount of heroin seized at Bulgaria’s borders this year, the customs agency said.

Two men — the Iranian truck driver and a Turkish man, who was allegedly to receive the drugs in Bulgaria — were detained and indicted for drug trafficking, the Haskovo regional prosecution said in a statement. They risk jail terms from 15 to 20 years, it added.

The drugs were placed in 144 packages hidden inside the floor and ceiling of a spray painting machine transported inside the truck.

It was found when the vehicle was X-rayed upon entering Bulgaria from Turkey at the southeastern Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint on Sunday, but the seizure was only announced on Thursday.

Bulgaria, which lies on the so-called Balkan drugs route from the Middle East to Western Europe, has seen a several-fold increase in heroin seizures over the past three years.

In 2018, the customs agency confiscated a total of 994 kilos of heroin at the country’s borders, a rise of 13 percent from 2017.