Russian authorities said that a truck bomb caused the fire and the collapse of a section of the bridge. Images of the bridge shared on showed a massive fire on a few carriages from a train.ReutersThe Kerch road-and-rail bridge from Russia to Crimea, seen as a symbol of the Kremlin’s occupation of the southern Ukrainian peninsula, was hit by a massive explosion on Saturday.
Russian authorities said that a truck bomb caused the fire and the collapse of a section of the bridge. Images of the bridge shared on showed a massive fire on a few railway carriages from a train on the bridge. There was also a vast column of black smoke.
On Putin’s birthday, Kerch bridge connecting occupied #Crimea and #Russia has been detonated with significant damag… https://t.co/VNGexHbgDx
— Igor Sushko (@igorsushko) 1665204034000
The explosion, which was reportedly heard kilometres away, took place at around 6 am while a train was crossing the bridge.
The Russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee said on social media that the blast occurred in a freight truck and caused seven fuel tanker wagons to catch fire on a train heading for the peninsula.
It said two sections of road bridge had partially collapsed, but that the arch spanning the Kerch Strait, the waterway through which ships travel between the Black Sea and Azov Sea, was not damaged.
The 19-kilometer bridge across the Kerch Strait linking the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov is the longest in Europe. The bridge has train and automobile sections
The Kerch bridge provides an essential link to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. The road bridge was opened by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018, with the railway bridge opening two years later.
The attack on the bridge comes a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin turned 70.
A Ukrainian presidential adviser posted a message on Twitter saying the incident was just “the beginning”. But Ukraine has stopped short of saying its forces were responsible for the blast.
A new video published online shows significant damage inflicted on the Crimean Bridge following reported explosions… https://t.co/cGgXM0930j
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) 1665216602000
The bridge was a $3.6 billion project, AP reported. It was Russia’s only land link to the peninsula until Russian forces seized more Ukrainian territory on the northern end of the Sea of Azov.
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