A fuel tank explosion caused a massive fire on the Kerch bridge, which connects Crimea to mainland Russia in the early hours of Saturday, October 8, Russian state media reported.
Photographs and videos shared on social media showed a portion of the roadway collapsed into the waters below and flames engulfing the rail bridge above.
Russian state media said traffic on the bridge has been suspended but did not state the cause of the explosion. “A fuel tank is on fire on one of the sections of the Crimean bridge,” the agency said on Saturday, as per an Aljazeera report.
Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled the bridge in 2018 after Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. The bridge currently served to move military equipment into Ukraine.
Tweeting a picture of the burning bridge, adviser to Ukraine’s President Zelensky, Mykhailo Podolyak, called the explosion a “beginning”.
“Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled,” he tweeted, but not directly claiming Ukrainian responsibility.
BBC quoted Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAC) saying: “At 06:07 Moscow time today [03:07 GMT], an explosion was set off at a cargo vehicle on the motorway part of the Crimean bridge on the side of the Taman peninsula, which set fire to seven fuel tanks of a train that was en route to the Crimean peninsula”.