One moment, the nearly 12-mile-long bridge over the Kerch Strait in Crimea was spotted with early morning traffic.
The next, a fireball exploded with reverberations shaking the Russian war in Ukraine, destroying a section of the bridge and setting nearby rail cars on fire.
Russia has said a truck bomb was the cause of the 6 a.m. blast that killed three, but theories are running wild that something else was at work, according to the New York Post.
An early morning blast and ensuing fire hit a section of the dual road-and-rail Crimea Bridge over the Kerch Strait and a span of the road bridge collapsed into the sea on October 8. pic.twitter.com/qvRUP7wTsX
— Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (@RFERL) October 8, 2022
“This is a masterpiece of clandestine sabotage,” the BBC reported that it was told by a source it did not name it said was “a former senior British army explosives expert.”
“A well-planned attack from below may have been the cause,” he said. “With structural demolition, you always plan a ‘collapse mechanism’ which lets the weight of the structure do the majority of the work.”
Michael Clarke, a security and defense analyst for Sky News, called the truck bomb claims “ridiculous.”
“If it was an explosion, it would have gone upwards, not come from underneath – and you can’t get that much stuff in a vehicle going over a bridge. Bridges are designed to withstand accidents of that sort,” he said.
“This is either a missile, which would be a missile heavier than the Ukrainian forces are supposed to have, or a special forces operation to sabotage the bridge with explosives underneath.
“In which case they will be making Hollywood films about this for years to come – because it was a huge victory if it was a special forces operation,” he said.
A Ukrainian podcaster offered the theory that the attack was “a precise strike by a powerful missile,” according to Sky News.
Viktor Kovalenko said the cause was neither a truck bomb as Russia said, or a special forces operation by Ukraine, known by the acronym SBU.
“This isn’t an SBU operation as the Ukrainian media claim. This isn’t a boat-planted bomb delivered under the bridge. Most signs of a precise strike by a powerful missile,” he said.
Some traffic on the bridge has resumed, according to The New York Times.
The bridge is a major supply route connecting Russia with Crimea as part of its efforts to supply its troops in southern Ukraine.
The blast “is not necessarily a decisive victory, but the balance of war often turns on an accumulation of lesser victories,” Ben Barry, a senior fellow at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, told the Times. “It is another ratchet of the pressure on President Putin.”
2 AM, #Zaporizhzhya. russians targeted residential area with missiles, demolishing a whole block of apartments. Families injured, killed and trapped underneath the rubble. This is pure terror. #russiaisaterrorisstate pic.twitter.com/cqhxxIp2MK
— Artem Risukhin 🇺🇦 (@oh_rhys) October 9, 2022
In response, Russia attacked the town of Zaporizhzhia in southeast Ukraine, killing at least 13 people and injuring 87, according to Sky News. The attack on an apartment complex left at least 10 children injured.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.