A truck exploded in the middle of the bridge connecting Crimea and Russia Saturday, killing three people, Russian officials confirmed.
The explosion ignited seven fuel tanks of a train also traveling on the Kerch bridge. Two of the victims, a man and a woman, have been pulled from the water below, Russia said.
The three victims were presumably passengers in the car next to the truck that exploded, according to Russia.
Authorities suspended travel on the bridge, according to Russia’s RIA state news agency. Ukrainian media outlets reported an explosion was heard around 6 a.m. local time, Reuters reported.
An explosion and a fire were reported in the middle of the Kerch Bridge on Oct. 8, 2022.
Authorities suspended travel on the Kerch Bridge after explosion.
Photos of the road-and-rail bridge on social media show part of the bridge was destroyed and plunged into the water below. Some videos show a large blaze and a column of black smoke.
Russian officials say the truck was owned by a resident of the Krasnodar region in southern Russia, and that they are searching the owner’s residence and tracking the truck’s route.
In this image taken from video released by the Russian Investigative Committee, employees of the Russian Investigative Committee work at the scene of a damaged part of the Crimean Bridge connecting Russian mainland and Crimean peninsula over the Kerch Strait, near Kerch, Crimea, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022.
(Russian Investigative Committee via AP)
The agency added: “The shipping arches are not damaged.”
The reports of the fire occurred hours after Russia shelled the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, destroying several buildings and sending towering plumes of smoke into the sky.
Authorities did not indicate any casualties.
The Kerch Bridge was built after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. It was officially opened in 2018 to connect Crimea to Russia.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.