Ukraine’s president said on Saturday that the explosion that damaged the Crimean bridge connecting Russia to the peninsula was the result of an infighting between Moscow’s ruling circles, suggesting “Russian involvement” in the incident.
“We would like to point out that the truck that exploded, by all indications, entered the bridge from the Russian side. Therefore, we have to look for answers in Russia (…) All this clearly points to Russian intervention”.
On Saturday, according to authorities on the peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014, road and rail traffic was restored on the Crimean bridge, which was damaged by a bomb blast a few hours ago.
“Vehicles started moving on the Crimean bridge. Traffic for cars and buses was opened with full inspection,” Crimea Governor Sergei Aksyonov said on Telegram.
On Saturday, Russian investigators said three people died on a bridge linking Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine, to the Russian mainland, adding that the owner of the car had been identified.
“According to preliminary information, three people died,” Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement, adding that they were “passengers in the car who were near the truck that exploded.”
The statement said the bodies of a man and a woman had been pulled from the water and authorities were still trying to identify them. There was no information about the third body.
The explosion occurred early Saturday morning and officials said part of the bridge had collapsed.
Investigators said the car’s owner is a man who lives in the Krasnodar region of southern Russia, without revealing his name.
According to them, an investigation was launched at their place of residence.
They also indicated that they are studying the truck’s “documented trajectory information”.
The Crimea bridge fire was caused by a car explosion, Russian news agencies reported, citing Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee, which said roads on the bridge were damaged.
“Today at 6:07 am (307 minutes), a car bomb exploded… on the Kurum bridge road, causing a fire to seven railway tank locomotives on their way to Crimea,” the committee said.
The Crimean Railway announced that “the fuel car at the rear of the train caught fire”.
The fire disrupted traffic on the Crimea Bridge, a key site and symbol of Ukraine’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula, Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee said, without blaming Ukraine.
Images of the bridge shared online show tens of meters of burning tracks and a section of the highway collapsed.
The bridge, which was built by order of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is mainly used to transport Russian military equipment for the Russian army fighting in Ukraine.
The explosion severely damaged the bridge. Russia’s Investigative Committee said it had “opened a criminal investigation into the Crimean bridge accident” and explained that the explosion took place “after a truck exploded”.
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