‘Probable blast’ detected before Baltic gas pipeline leak: seismological institute

'External force' damaged cable between Sweden and Estonia: Swedish govt
Source: Pixabay

The Norwegian seismological institute NORSAR detected a “probable blast” Saturday night in the Baltic sea between Finland and Estonia where a gas pipeline leak was later detected, it announced Tuesday.

“NORSAR has detected a probable blast along the Finnish coast of the Baltic Sea at 1:20 (22:20 GMT) on the 8th October 2023,” the independent institute wrote on its website.

Balticconnector pipeline operations were interrupted Sunday due to a leak, rendering country’s the last gas pipeline inoperable after Russian imports were halted following its invasion of Ukraine.

The Finnish president said in a statement it was “likely” that the incident was “the result of an outside cause”.

Head of the investigation department at the National Bureau of Investigation, Timo Kilpelainen, said at the same press conference that there was “no indications that explosives were used in the act.”

The incident comes a year after the Nord Stream pipelines, a major conduit for Russian natural gas exports to Western Europe, were hit by a series of underwater blasts.

According to NORSAR, the magnitude of the recent incidents were “much lower” than the Nord Stream explosion in September 2022.

The origin of the blast is estimated to be 20 kilomtres north of Paldiski, Estonia, NORSAR said, adding the location and magnitude remains “associated with large uncertainties”.

Further analysis of the information is ongoing, the institute said.

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