Key bridge linking Crimea to Russia hit by huge explosion

Image credit: CNN

Authorities in Moscow said on Saturday that a fire started by a vehicle bomb completely destroyed a crucial bridge that connects the Crimean Peninsula with the Russian mainland.

While Ukrainian media reported an explosion, the state news agency of Russia, RIA, said that a fuel tank was on fire on the Kerch bridge.

Images taken from the bridge showed a train’s carriages on the Kerch bridge in Crimea engulfed in flames.

The road and rail bridges are no longer in use.

Oleg Kryuchkov’s aide was quoted by the Russian news agency TASS as saying that “an object thought to be a fuel storage tank has caught fire on the Crimean bridge, although the viaduct’s navigable arches received no damage.

The Russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee reported on Saturday that the blast that damaged the bridge linking the Crimean Peninsula with the Russian mainland occurred shortly after 6 a.m. local time and partially collapsed the road on the vehicle section. According to RT, it also set off a fire on a freight train on the adjacent rail line, igniting seven fuel tanks.

Today’s beginning of a ferry service over the Kerch Strait was announced by Sergey Aksyonov, the leader of Crimea, according to TASS.

In 2018, the bridge’s official opening by President Vladimir Putin came four years after Moscow invaded Crimea. It was constructed as a link between the peninsula and Russia’s transportation network.

The railway and automobile sections make up the 19-kilometre (11.8-mile) bridge that spans the Kerch Strait and joins Crimea with Russia’s mainland. In 2020, it was completely functional.

According to various media sources, Ukrainian soldiers have been striking Russian supply lines, and the Crimean bridge is one of their main targets.

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