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Sweden Finds Evidence of "Gross Sabotage" at Nord Stream Sites

bornholm gas leak from nord stream 2
Gas roils the surface off Bornholm near the leak from Nord Stream 2 (Danish Defence Command)

Published Oct 6, 2022 2:14 PM by The Maritime Executive

Sweden's Security Service has completed its investigation of the scene of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipeline leaks in the Swedish EEZ, and the results have strengthened suspicion of "gross sabotage."

"The Security Police can state that there have been detonations at Nord Stream 1 and 2 in the Swedish economic zone, which have caused extensive damage to the gas pipelines," the agency said. 

The results confirm data recorded by a Nordic seismological consortium, which reported disturbances of 2.1-2.3 on the Richter scale at the same times and places as the gas leaks. The vibration patterns clearly indicated explosions in the water column, Bjorn Lund of the Swedish National Seismic Network told Reuters the day after the blasts.

The Security Police have made "certain seizures" from the scene of the crime and will review and analyze the evidence. The next steps will determine whether an individual or party can be prosecuted. 

The prosecutor in charge of the case has lifted the security cordon around the leak sites in the Swedish EEZ, and the Swedish Coast Guard is standing down its exclusion zone for the area.

One leak location is still releasing gas, according to the coast guard, and the size of the leak remained unchanged Thursday. The service will maintain a slightly increased presence in the area, but the situation is otherwise "back to normal," it said. 

The United States is reportedly in dialogue with the Swedish government about providing underwater acoustic analysis services for sound recordings from the time around the blast, according to CNN. The U.S. is a leader in subsea hydrophone networks and advanced analysis of hydroacoustic signals, part of its sub-hunting traditions dating back to the early days of the Cold War.