The explosions at Nord Stream 1 have torn a huge hole in the pipeline, according to the Swedish tabloid Expressen. Underwater photos, which the newspaper claims it has taken of the damage, show that a section of a gas pipeline at least 50 meters long is missing at a depth of 80 meters. According to a Danish expert, an explosion must be massive to cause such destruction.
The metal was severely deformed in some places on the line, while there were sharp edges and cracks in others, Expressen wrote on Tuesday. The images also show long furrows in the sea floor. "Only extreme force can bend metal that thick like this," said Trond Larsen of Blueeye Robotics, who piloted the underwater camera for the newspaper.
"If it's the line that was lying on the seabed, then it looks like it was lifted by the blast," military analyst Jens Wenzel Kristoffersen commented on the footage on Danish television on Tuesday. He further explained: "It's not something you do with a hobby New Year's Eve firecracker. It must have been a huge explosion, otherwise you can't bend it as much as it happened down there". According to earlier information from Denmark and Sweden, seismologists had measured tremors in the vicinity of the leaks with a magnitude of 2.3 and 2.1, which probably corresponds to an explosive charge of several hundred kilos.
The Swedish authorities have already examined the two damaged Nord Stream lines in the Swedish economic zone and secured evidence. The Danish authorities are also investigating because two of the leaks are near the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm in the Danish economic zone.
In Denmark, the police confirmed on Tuesday that, according to their investigations, the damage to the Nord Stream lines in the Danish economic zone was caused by such “powerful explosions”. Together with the Danish domestic intelligence and security service PET, the Copenhagen police now want to form an investigative team for further investigations.
"It is still too early to say anything about the framework in which international cooperation with Sweden and Germany, among others, will take place," it said in a statement. A spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior said on Monday in Berlin that there would be no joint investigative team to investigate the explosions on the Baltic Sea pipelines. Findings would still be shared internationally.
At the end of September, four leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines were discovered after explosions near the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm. Both pipelines were not operational at the time, but contained gas that leaked for days. The EU and NATO assume sabotage.
Statement from the Copenhagen police Report from the newspaper "Expressen"