Finnish investigators find “heavy object” possibly involved in Balticconnector incident

Finnish investigators find “heavy object” possibly involved in Balticconnector incident

Finnish authorities are examining a heavy object recovered from the seabed amid their ongoing probe into the recent Balticconnector gas pipeline rupture.

That’s according to ERR, Ukrinform reports.

“The investigation has confirmed that the damage has been caused by an external mechanical force, and based on current knowledge there is no reason to believe the damage has been caused by an explosion,” said Risto Lohi, heading up the Finnish investigation, conducted by the NBI, Finland's National Bureau of Investigations.

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A large portion of clay found on the seabed likely contains a "large and heavy" object, while samples had been taken for analysis to ascertain that.

"Attempts will be made to lift the object from the sea for technical examination," Lohi added, while investigators tend to believe the damage to the pipe was caused by an external force, but have not apportioned culpability.

Public broadcaster Yle says investigators found that a ship, the Newnew Polar Bear  flying under the Hong Kong flag and owned by a Chinese firm, had been spotted close to the Balticconnector, which runs North-South under the Gulf of Finland, found to be leaking gas on October 9.

According to Ukrinform, the incident on Balticconnector gas pipeline, which connects Estonia and Finland, occurred overnight Sunday, October 9. The gas flow was suspended over a reported leak. Subsequently came the reports of a damage sustained by an underwater cable laid between Estonia and Finland, which was also believed to have been caused by an external force.

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The Finnish Foreign Ministry reported on Friday it had contacted Russia and China about the Balticconnector situation.

Finland is investigating the causes of the incident in Finnish waters, and the Estonia authorities are probing the damage caused in Estonian waters.

Photo: Siim Lthevi /ERR

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