Crimean Bridge reopens after Truck-Bomb Blown Up (video & updates): 3 Deaths. Ukrainian Officials: “This is Just the Beginning”
by Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio
Road traffic on the Crimean Bridge, which was damaged by a truck explosion earlier on Saturday, has partly resumed, and trains are expected to start moving later in the evening.
“The movement of vehicles along the Crimean Bridge has resumed. At the moment, traffic is open to cars and buses with a full inspection procedure,” the head of the Republic of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, announced on Telegram.
Truck drivers are advised to use the Kerch ferry crossing, he added. Russia’s Transport Ministry said that road traffic had been reopened on the bridge, with one lane available for traffic alternating in both directions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a new order on Saturday demanding the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) enhance security of “the Kerch Strait transport corridor.” This comes after the Crimean Bridge was damaged in a truck explosion early on Saturday.
Ukraine’s reaction to the explosion that damaged the Crimean Bridge speaks to the “terrorist nature” of its leadership, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said. The bridge was closed for traffic after a truck blew up early on Saturday.
“The reaction of the Kiev regime to the destruction of civilian infrastructure testifies to its terrorist nature,” Zakharova wrote on Telegram several hours after the blast.
Ukrainian officials have stopped short of claiming responsibility for the explosion, but an aide to President Vladimir Zelensky, Mikhail Podoliak, warned on Twitter earlier that what happened at the bridge, called the Kerch Bridge, was “just the beginning.”
ARTICLE PUBLISHED ON 8, OCTOBER, 2002 – 12 CET
Russia Today and Sputnik News, a Kremlin-controlled network, support the thesis of a truck explosion, so the possibility that it was an attack for sabotage.
A truck has been blown up on the Crimean Bridge, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee has reported, according to Sputnik News. From a final balance sheet, there would be at least three victims in what is increasingly evident as a well-premeditated attack.
“Today, at 6:07am, a truck was blown up on the motorway section of the Crimean Bridge from the Taman Peninsula, which caused seven fuel tanks of a train travelling to the Crimean peninsula to go up in flames. Two motorway sections of the bridge have partially collapsed. The arch over the land part of the bridge has not been damaged,” the report says. The cause of the explosion is now being investigated.
The Investigative Committee set up by Russia to investigate the explosion that took place on the Crimean bridge has already identified the owner of the ‘truck-bomb’ who would be responsible for the incident. Ria Novosti reports it.
“This is a resident of the Krasnodar Territory, investigative actions have been initiated at his place of residence while the route of the vehicle and related documentation are being studied,” the Commission said in a statement.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed to create a government commission in connection with the emergency on the Crimean Bridge, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday.
The Crimean Bridge on Fire
«Crimean head Sergey Aksenov said that the ferry crossing in Crimea is ready for launch and will start working from Saturday. He added that, according to what one can see, one motorway section of the Crimean bridge – from Kerch to Taman – is intact» reported Sputnik News.
The movement of ships in the Kerch Strait did not stop despite a fire on the Crimean Bridge, the Russian Federal Agency for Sea and Inland Water Transport (Rosmorrechflot) said.
Crimea rejoined Russia after nearly 97 percent of voters supported the move in the March 2014 referendum. After the reunification, Russia began building a railway bridge to connect the peninsula with the mainland. The Crimean bridge is the longest in Europe, as it makes up almost 12 miles.
According to Russia Today, a video from the scene that was posted on social media appears to show the fuel tank fire and the damage to the road.
Nikolay Lukashenko, the acting regional transport minister, told reporters that the authorities are considering launching a ferry service.The 19-kilometer (11.8 mile) bridge, which runs across the Kerch Strait and connects Crimea with mainland Russia, consists of a railway section and a vehicle section. It became fully operational in 2020.
Ukraine reacts to explosion
«Ukrainian officials responded to the explosion Saturday without directly acknowledging that Ukraine was responsible for the explosion» CNN reported
“Air defense of the Russian Federation, are you sleeping?” the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Facebook, alongside a video showing a section of the bridge’s road that had been completely destroyed.
“Russian illegal construction is starting to collapse and catch fire. The reason is simple: if you build something explosive, sooner or later, it will explode. And this is just the beginning,” David Arakhamia, the head of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s party in parliament and a member of Kyiv’s negotiating team with Russia, said in a Telegram statement about the incident
In an interview in August, a senior Ukrainian military commander said the Kerch bridge was a legitimate target.
“This is a necessary measure in order to deprive them (Russia) of the opportunity to provide reserves and reinforce their troops from Russian territory,” Maj. Gen. Dmytro Marchenko said in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.
Train hit in Donetsk
Meanwhile, a cargo train in Ilovaisk in the Russian-occupied Donetsk region was hit by a “powerful explosion” Saturday morning, according to the adviser to Mariupol Mayor Petro Andrushenko.
“Not only Crimea. Not only fuel tanks. There is also a cargo train in Ilovaisk. Locals report a rather powerful explosion and subsequent detonation at night. The occupiers now have big problems with supplies from both sides,” Andrushenko said.
Pro-Russian authorities in the self-declared republic of Donetsk confirmed the cargo train incident, releasing video Saturday showing the fire’s aftermath at a local railway station.