Danish police say 'powerful explosions' caused Nord Stream leaks

A gas leak in the Baltic Sea caused by damage to the Nord Stream pipelines. Credit: AP

Danish authorities have said a preliminary investigation into damages to the Nord Stream gas pipelines, in the part of the Baltic Sea belonging to Denmark, shows the leaks were caused by "powerful explosions".

The findings from Denmark's investigation appear similar to those made earlier this month by Sweden. Both countries have been conducting their own respective investigations into the explosions, which occurred on September 26.

No confirmation has been given as to when Denmark's final investigation is expected to conclude, but any further probes will be undertaken jointly by Copenhagen Police and the country's Security and Intelligence Service.

"It is still too early to say anything about the framework under which the international cooperation with e.g. Sweden and Germany will run, as it depends on several factors," Copenhagen Police said in a statement.

In its preliminary report, Sweden’s domestic security agency said that its probe “has strengthened the suspicions of serious sabotage” as the cause of the blasts.

Together the two Scandinavian countries have been looking into four leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which link Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea.

The pipelines themselves have become a flashpoint for European energy supplies, since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February.

Moscow cut off supplies of gas for Nord Stream 1 at the end of August, while Nord Stream 2 never entered service as Germany suspended its certification process shortly before the invasion started.

The September blasts and ruptures in the Baltic Sea happened within international waters off both Sweden and Denmark, but within the countries’ exclusive economic zone.

Following the explosions the damaged Nord Stream pipelines discharged huge amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the air.

Images caught by underwater cameras claimed to show that at least 50 meters of pipeline was missing. Credit: Blue Eye Robotics/Expressen

On Tuesday, the Swedish newspaper Expressen published what it claims is a video of the damaged pipelines off Sweden.

It said at least 50 meters (165 feet) of the metal pipe appears to be missing.

Meanwhile, a separate investigation has been launched by Germany's federal prosecutors against unknown individuals, on suspicion of deliberately causing an explosion and anti-constitutional sabotage.

Prosecutors said the reason for its own probe is because an attack on energy supplies could affect Germany’s external and domestic security.

World leaders have condemned the explosions with UK Prime Minister Liz Truss saying they were “clearly an act of sabotage”.

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