A huge explosion hit one of Russia’s main gas pipelines, sending flames and smoke into the sky above and raising fears it was a retaliatory attack for the continued invasion of the Ukraine by Vladimir Putin.
The fireball was visible for miles in all directions after hitting about 22 kilometers east of Saint Petersburg, the country’s second-largest city and Putin’s hometown.
A source said: “Everything is automatic there, and such explosions by themselves, without outside influence, are impossible.”
The explosion reportedly hit the main gas pipeline owned by Gazprom Transgaz SPB and potentially affected up to a million people.
Ambulances and emergency vehicles rushed to the scene this afternoon. Eyewitnesses reported that intensive care vehicles also drove to the site of the explosion.
It is understood that investigators and medical examiners were also at the site of the explosion as they rushed to determine the cause.
However, the major blast did not hit near residential areas and there are no initial reports of casualties from Russia.
A huge explosion hits one of Russia’s main gas pipelines, sending flames and smoke into the sky above
The fireball was visible for miles in all directions after reaching about 22 kilometers east of Saint Petersburg, the country’s second largest city.
Ambulances and emergency vehicles rushed to the scene this afternoon. Eyewitnesses reported that intensive care vehicles also drove to the site of the explosion
One working theory is that the explosion may have been linked to the war in Ukraine.
Russia has deliberately targeted Ukraine’s vital energy supply lines in recent attacks that have been condemned around the world and have frozen millions of Ukrainians as winter approaches.
And yesterday a Swedish prosecutor said sabotage was behind the September 26 Nord Stream pipeline explosions, raising fears that the explosion was caused by people sympathetic to the plight of Ukraine.
Last month, the Russian Ministry of Defense said British Royal Navy personnel blew up the pipelines, a claim which London said was false and designed to distract from Russian military failures in Ukraine.
At the site of the Russian blast today, local power supplies have been replaced with fuel oil to ensure domestic heating remains available in the area.
The explosion disrupted the Severnaya thermal power station, which heats hundreds of thousands of homes at a time when temperatures are around minus 5°C.
The power plant supplies electric and thermal energy to factories, residential areas and public buildings in the northern part of the Vyborgsky and Kalininsky districts of St. Petersburg, as well as to the settlements of Novoe Devyatkino and Murino, and the Vsevolozhsky district of the Leningrad region.
In total, more than 800,000 people receive heat from the Severnaya plant.
Electricity officials were looking for alternative sources of supply at the power plant near St. Petersburg, Putin’s hometown.
“Firefighters and rescuers put out a fire caused by an explosion on a gas pipeline between Berngardovka and Kovalevo,” said Leningrad region governor Alexander Drozdenko, an ally of Vladimir Putin.
It is understood investigators and medical examiners were also at the site of the blast as they rushed to determine the cause.
A Swedish prosecutor yesterday said sabotage was behind the September 26 Nord Stream pipeline explosions, raising fears the blast was caused by people sympathetic to the plight of Ukraine.
The affected region has pipelines that normally supply Europe, passing through the Leningrad regions. However, Russia has limited its gas supplies due to the war in Ukraine
“There is no threat to the population and the spread of fire in residential areas. The causes of the explosion are being established.
The affected region has pipelines that normally supply Europe, passing through the Leningrad regions. However, Russia has limited its gas supplies due to the war in Ukraine.
A local resident said: “Something is burning in Bernhardovka. The rumble sounds like a fighter jet.
“Looks like it was a high pressure pipeline.”
Another said: ‘We heard and felt a huge explosion sound.
A third reports: “A gas pipe exploded in the forest. Our house shook, we thought it was a bomb, and the war had come here.
Authorities in Sweden and Denmark investigating four holes in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines that connect Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea on Friday said traces of explosives had been found at the sites.
Denmark said last month that a preliminary investigation showed the leaks were caused by powerful explosions.
All four leaks are in the Baltic Sea off the Danish island of Bornholm. Two of the leaks were in the Swedish exclusive economic zone, and the other two in the Danish zone. The two countries are each investigating two leaks
“The analysis that has just been carried out shows traces of explosives on several of the objects that have been recovered,” prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist, who is leading the preliminary investigation, said in a statement.
“The investigation is very complex and comprehensive. The ongoing investigation will determine if any suspects can be identified,” he added.
Seismologists in Denmark and Sweden have previously said they recorded tremors in the immediate vicinity of the leaks and that the signals did not resemble those of the earthquakes.
The Sept. 26 ruptures of seafloor pipelines, spewing gas into the ocean that bubbled to the surface in the week that followed, sparked public hazard warnings and fears of environmental damage.
Although the pipes were not in service at the time of the damage, they contained gas before they fell victim to the apparent sabotage.
A section measuring at least 164ft is missing in Nord Stream 1, Swedish daily Expressen reported on October 18 after filming what it said was the first publicly available footage of the damage.
Investigators found traces of explosives at the site of the damaged Nord Stream pipelines, confirming that sabotage had taken place, a Swedish prosecutor said on Friday. Pictured: An aerial image above one of Sweden’s surveyed Nord Stream sites
The Sept. 26 ruptures of seabed pipelines, spewing gas into the ocean that bubbled to the surface in the week that followed, sparked public hazard warnings and fears of environmental damage