A massive fire burns on the Kirch Strait bridge connecting Russia to Crimea on Saturday morning, with footage showing several fully engulfed train carriages and two spans of the road bridge in the water.
Images from the bridge showed a fiercely burning fire engulfing at least two cars of a train on the bridge, accompanied by a large plume of black smoke.
The blast, which witnesses said could be heard miles away, took place around 6 a.m. Saturday as a train was crossing the bridge, though it was not immediately clear what caused it.
Traffic on the bridge, a critical strategic artery for Russian forces in Crimea amid their war in Ukraine, was reportedly ground to a halt due to heavy flames and black smoke billowing from a train carrying unknown cargo. The photos also show that sections of the eastbound and westbound rails have collapsed into the water near the burning train.
A part of the bridge has partially collapsed into the sea. Viral videos on social media show a bridge across the Kerch Strait on fire. A fuel tank on the bridge reportedly caught fire in one of the bridge sections.
A Twitter user wrote “More images from Kerch bridge. Various conflicting reports at this stage. Some say the bridge was hit with a missile. Others say it was an attack by SF groups. Russian media reporting that a railway cistern carriage exploded. This could be an interesting day ahead…”
Another user wrote “I’m listening to y’all now. I cannot even believe this is happening. It’s 9:30 pm here and I won’t be sleeping again tonight. This is bigger than the Moskva. You guys are amazing. No major American media is even reporting this yet.”
Why Kerch Strait Bridge is important?
The Kerch Strait Bridge a 19 km parallel railway bridge that connects the Kerch Peninsula in Crimea, Ukraine, with the Taman Peninsula in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. It is also one of the largest bridges being built in the country.
Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 amid a sharp deterioration in Ukraine-Russian relations, the Kerch Straits Bridge project became an important part of Russian plans to integrate the newly annexed territory into Russia.
The benefits of the Crimean Bridge for Russia in three domains.
- First, the bridge allows Russia to further secure its strategic hold on Crimea and exert continued economic and political pressure on Ukraine.
- Second, the Crimean Bridge shows how Russia envisions international law and international treaties. In addition, it supports Russia’s attack on Ukraine’s maritime integrity.
- Third, this grand structure is a symbol of the revival of Russian greatness, and at the same time, it is a monument to the man who made it possible, Vladimir Putin.
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