A stunning series of photos and videos shows the violent impact of the explosion that tore through Russia’s prized Kerch Strait bridge to Crimea early Saturday morning.
A monstrous fireball bloomed over all four of the bridge’s vehicle lanes at 6:07 a.m. as a passenger car and a freight truck drove side by side up the incline to its towering arch.
The flames appeared to reach across the water, enveloping the twin railroad bridge about 100 feet away.
A moment later, flaming shrapnel and sparks could be seen raining down onto the roadway and into the water below.
The mysteriously powerful blast killed three people on the 12-mile bridge and caused a partial roadway collapse.
Russian authorities said a truck bomb caused the extensive damage — but Western demolitions experts cast doubt on the claim, speculating instead that a missile or water-borne explosives had been used against the span.
“You can’t get that much stuff in a vehicle going over a bridge,” security analyst Michael Clarke told Sky News. “Bridges are designed to withstand accidents of that sort.”
The massive blast targeted a major military supply route to Vladimir Putin’s forces in southern Ukraine, just one day day after the Russian president’s 70th birthday.