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Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

A helicopter drops water to extinguish fire on the Kerch bridge in Crimea on October 8. 
A helicopter drops water to extinguish fireplace on the Kerch bridge in Crimea on October 8.  (Stringer/Reuters)

In a serious blow for Russia, no less than one explosion has severely broken the Kerch bridge connecting the annexed Crimean peninsula with the Russian Federation.

The explosion early Saturday prompted elements of Europe’s longest bridge to break down, based on photos and video from the scene.

The precise reason behind the explosion is unclear. Russian officers stated a gasoline truck exploded, however two spans of the highway crossing within the course of Crimea seem to have collapsed. A subsequent fireplace engulfed a practice of gasoline vans on a separate a part of the bridge.

Photos of the Kerch bridge posted on social media seem to indicate a portion of the roadway of the car and rail bridge had fallen into the waters under it. Flames could possibly be seen burning from rail automobiles above.

Three useless: Russia’s Investigative Committee says that preliminary data signifies three folks have been killed within the explosion.

Why is the bridge vital? The bridge spans the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov, on which sit key Ukrainian ports, together with Mariupol. For Russia, the bridge symbolizes the bodily “reunification” of Crimea with the Russian mainland. The bridge carries a lot of Crimea’s wants – corresponding to gasoline and items – and has been used often to provide weapons and gasoline to Russian forces.

The aftermath: Main transport hyperlinks between mainland Russia and the annexed peninsula of Crimea — together with buses and trains — were suspended, following an explosion on Kerch bridge. Climate circumstances within the Kerch Strait are hindering Russia’s plans to make use of ferries to achieve Crimea from Krasnodar, based on Russian state media.

What has Ukraine stated? Ukrainian officers have began responding to the hearth with out straight acknowledging that Ukraine was accountable for the explosion. Among the many responses, the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine posted on Fb, “Air protection of the Russian Federation, are you sleeping?” alongside a video displaying a bit of the bridge’s highway that had been fully destroyed.

In a quick publish on its official Twitter account, the Ukrainian Ministry of Protection reacted to the explosion, saying: “The guided missile cruiser Moskva and the Kerch Bridge – two infamous symbols of Russian energy in Ukrainian Crimea – have gone down. What’s subsequent in line, Russkies?”

What’s Russia’s response? Russian President Vladimir Putin instantly ordered a “authorities fee” to look at the Kerch Bridge “emergency” in Crimea, Russian state media TASS reported, including that the heads of Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Conditions and the Ministry of Transport at the moment are on the scene of the incident.

Russian officers recommend that the explosion was brought on by a truck blowing up on the highway bridge.

The spokeswoman for the Russian Investigative committee, Svetlana Petrenko, stated the committee “has opened a prison case concerning the incident on the Crimean Bridge. In response to preliminary data, this morning a truck was blown up on the car a part of the Crimean Bridge from the Taman Peninsula [the westbound lanes of the bridge], which led to the ignition of seven gasoline tanks of a practice travelling towards the Crimean Peninsula.”

“In consequence, two automotive lanes of the bridge partially collapsed.”

The Committee additionally expanded on its earlier assertion {that a} truck on the bridge had blown up.

In response to Russia’s Investigative Committee, the proprietor of the truck is resident of the Krasnodar Krai, and investigative actions have been launched at his place of residence. The route of motion of the car and the related documentation are being studied, the committee added.

CNN is unable to confirm the Russian clarification for the explosion.

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