Denmark Says ‘Powerful Explosions’ Caused Nord Stream Pipeline Leaks
LONDON, ONTARIO–The head of a Canadian engineering firm hired by Russia to monitor a controversial North Stream gas pipeline says explosions along its route killed one person and injured seven others in Estonia.
John Hendren, the co-founder and managing director of Canadian-based consultant TransCanada Pipelines, says a fire Friday morning at a compressor in the village of Sereda in Pernik, about 20 kilometres northwest of the Estonian capital Tallinn, damaged pipes, which led to a pipe-blowing accident. He says three people were killed, 13 were injured and three are missing.
Hendren also says the incident is another sign of the severity of the challenges faced by Russia and its allies as they seek to expand Nord Stream 2, their undersea pipeline that runs from Russia’s Baltic Sea to Germany.
Hendren says it’s not clear how the explosion happened, but it could have been caused by a rupture or a burst pipe.
Russia says it’s committed to building the pipeline, and it denies it was involved in the accident.
The Nord Stream pipeline project has been mired in controversy since it was first proposed in 2009.
The pipeline has been facing a series of obstacles, including a US decision in August 2015 to impose economic sanctions on Russia, and a decision by the European Union to refuse to allocate financial support to the project.
A year after it was first proposed, plans for the pipeline are moving forward on a separate track.
U.S. President Bashar Assad (Photo by AFP)
President Donald Trump had signed an executive order on Tuesday to direct federal agencies to reconsider their plans to provide financial assistance to the project.
The executive order also directed agencies to reconsider their plans, including financing, to provide assistance for a project that is a source of conflict in the Middle East.
The White House has also said that the U.S. and other countries that support the