An important bridge connecting Crimea with Russia was hit by a powerful explosion
Kyiv: The Kerch bridge from Russia to Crimea, a hated symbol of the Kremlin’s occupation of the southern Ukrainian peninsula, was hit by a powerful explosion on Saturday on the section where rail traffic passes.
Images from the bridge showed a fiercely burning fire engulfing at least two rail cars from a train on the bridge, accompanied by a huge plume of black smoke, The Guardian reported.
The explosion, which witnesses said could be heard for miles, went off at around 6am on Saturday morning as a train crossed the bridge, although it was not clear what caused it.
Some images appear to show a second fire some distance from the main fire.
Images later emerged showing that part of the road bridge, which runs parallel to the train tracks, had collapsed, reports The Guardian.
The bridge is both highly symbolic for Russia and an important logistical supply route for Russian forces in Crimea and southern Russian-occupied Ukraine.
The Russian news service TASS reported that a fuel tanker was involved.
“According to preliminary data, a tank (railway) wagon was on fire in one of the sections of the Crimean bridge, the ship’s arches were not damaged, said Oleg Kryuchkov, adviser to the Russian occupation leader of Crimea.
Another Moscow-appointed official said: “A fuel tank car is on fire in one of the sections of the bridge. Transport arches are not affected. It is too early to talk about causes and consequences. Work is underway to extinguish the fire.”
However, footage taken from the track appeared to show fierce fires in several rail trucks along the length of the train, numbering at least half a dozen, while the train was stationary on the bridge, The Guardian reported.
The rail section is part of a pair of parallel bridges crossing the Kerch Strait connecting Krasnodar in Russia and Crimea, which was built by Russia after the 2014 invasion and annexation of Crimea.
About 19 km long, the road bridge was inaugurated by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018, and the railway bridge opened two years later.