Powerful explosions seen behind Nord Stream leak

STORY: ‘Powerful explosions’ damaged the two Nord Stream gas pipelines.

That was according to Danish police on Tuesday (October 18).

They echoed earlier findings into leaks that erupted in the network.

Swedish newspaper Expressen released video which it says is the first publicly available footage of damage to the system.

Filmed from a private drone, it appeared to show a gaping rupture.

Expressen said a 164 foot section was missing from one stretch of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

Reuters could not independently verify that the images were of that pipeline.

Swedish and Danish authorities are investigating four holes in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which link Russia and western Europe.

The leaks have become a flashpoint in the Ukraine crisis.

World leaders have called the damages an act of sabotage.

But it still remains unclear who might be behind the detonations.

Russia agrees that the damage was caused by sabotage.

But it has pointed fingers at the United States and its allies.

Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov:

"This investigation was set up inherently to put the blame on Russia. It's absurd. This is absurd, and it was reported, our intelligence service has all the evidence to prove the opposite. Furthermore, just elementary logic is needed to understand that such sabotage damages Russian interests on a large scale."

Dwindling flows of gas from Russia, which once supplied 40% of Europe's needs, have left the European Union divided over how to respond to surging energy prices.

Supplies via Nord Stream 1 had already been halted even before the leaks were found because of a dispute over Western sanctions.

Nord Stream 2 had not started commercial deliveries.