At least 50 meters of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline has been destroyed or buried under the seabed after an explosion believed to be the result of sabotage, underwater images published Tuesday show.
In videos published by the Swedish newspaper The Expressa huge crack and twisted metal can be seen on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, 80 meters below.
According to the newspaper, the videos recorded Monday show more than 50 meters of the pipeline either missing or buried under the seabed, and long tears can be seen on the seabed leading up to the burst pipe.
It is widely believed that the damage was caused by a Russian attack, but Moscow disputes this.
“It’s just an extreme force that can bend metal as thick as we see,” Trond Larsen, drone operator at Norwegian company Blueye Robotics, told Expressen.
Larsen, who piloted the underwater drone that captured the video, also said you could also see “a very large impact on the seafloor around the pipe.”
The two Nord Stream pipelines were damaged by explosions under the Baltic Sea in late September, causing four leaks.
While the leaks were in international waters, two were in the Danish exclusive economic zone and two in the Swedish zone.
Swedish authorities announced on October 6 that they had conducted an underwater inspection of the site and collected “evidence”, and that the inspection supported suspicions of possible sabotage.
Meanwhile, Danish police said on Tuesday that they had completed several inspections of the leaks in the Danish zone together with PET intelligence.
“The inspections have confirmed that there is major damage to Nord Stream 1 and 2 in the Danish Exclusive Economic Zone and that the damage was caused by powerful explosions,” they said in a statement.
The Danish police also said a joint investigation team with PET would be set up to continue the investigation, but it was too early to say what international cooperation would be possible with Sweden and Germany.
The pipelines, which connect Russia to Germany, were at the center of geopolitical tensions as Russia cut off gas supplies to Europe in retaliation against Western sanctions after Moscow’s invasion of Moscow.
The pipelines are owned by the Russian state energy company Gazprom.
Moscow blames the United States for the damage.
Although the pipelines were not in operation, they contained gas before falling victim to the apparent sabotage.