Posted BY: Jim Hoft
According to Russian news agency Tass, an explosion occurred in early Saturday morning on one of Putin’s prestige projects and Europe’s longest bridge, which connects Russia and Crimea.
“An object believed to be a fuel storage tank has caught fire on the Crimean Bridge, but the viaduct’s navigable arches sustained no damage, an aide to the head of Crimea, Oleg Kryuchkov, said on Saturday,” according to the news outlet.
“According to preliminary information, a fuel storage tank is on fire… Navigable arches were not damaged. It is too early to speak about causes and consequences. Work to extinguish the blaze is underway,” Kryuchkov wrote in his Telegram channel.
Crimean Bridge, also known as Kerch Strait Bridge or Kerch Bridge, is a pair of parallel bridges, one road, one rail, spanning the Kerch Strait between the Taman Peninsula of Krasnodar Krai in Russia and the Kerch Peninsula of Crimea in Ukraine.
After annexing Crimea at the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War, Russia built the bridge. It is the longest bridge ever constructed in Russia, at 19 kilometers (12 miles), and the longest bridge in all of Europe.
Besides transportation, Russia’s motivation for building the bridge was to legitimize its territorial claims in Crimea.
The Guardian reported:
Images from the bridge showed a fiercely burning fire engulfing at least two railway carriages from a train on the bridge, accompanied by a vast column of black smoke, and one half of the parallel road bridge collapsed into the Kerch Strait.
The explosion, which witnesses said could be heard kilometres away, took place before 6am on Saturday while a train was crossing the bridge.
It was not immediately clear what caused it, however Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, appeared to suggest Kyiv’s responsibility, tweeting: “Crimea, the bridge, the beginning. Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything belonging to the Russian occupation must be expelled.”
Damage to the road section of the bridge showed the carriageway appeared to have been cleanly severed with no obvious sign of a missile strike in the first images to emerge, leading some to suggest the attack on the bridge might have been a spectacular act of of sabotage.
According to Telegraph, Russia’s investigative committee said it had “initiated a criminal case in connection with the incident on the Crimean bridge,” adding that “a truck was blown up.”
“Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee says a truck bomb caused seven railway cars carrying fuel to catch fire, resulting in a “partial collapse of two sections of the bridge.” The committee didn’t immediately apportion blame,” the outlet reported.
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