9 Oct, 2022 07:12 

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Crimean Bridge blast: What is known about the truck and its driver?

The man might have been unaware that the vehicle was carrying explosives, Russian media claims

A view of the collapsed part of the highway bridge linking Crimea to mainland Russia. ©  Sputnik / Vitaly Timkiv

On Saturday morning, the Crimean Bridge – the longest in Europe, which links the peninsula to mainland Russia over the Kerch Strait – was damaged in an explosion.

Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee said that a truck blew up as it was traveling along the 19km-long structure. CCTV videos appear to back up that conclusion.

Three people, including the driver, were killed in the blast, which temporarily halted both road and railway traffic and led to a partial collapse of the highway section of the bridge.

RT has gathered information on what is known so far.Where did the truck come from?

According to Russian news outlet Mash, the truck traveled across Russia’s southern Krasnodar Region for some time before the incident.

For several days, the vehicle reportedly moved through the western part of the province, including the Taman Peninsula, which is linked to Crimea through the bridge.

Later, it reportedly went north before “disappearing” from CCTV footage for around six hours on the night before the incident. Early Saturday, it is said to have re-appeared in a village which is a 30-minute drive from the last place it was spotted. One hour later, it drove to the bridge and exploded, according to Mash.

Russian authorities have neither confirmed nor denied the report.Who did the truck belong to?

According to the Baza Telegram channel, the vehicle was owned by a Russian national identified as Samir Yusubov. The channel also published a video of a 26-year-old man who claimed to be Yusubov, and added that he was the owner of the truck. He denied having any role in the incident. “I have nothing to do with what happened on the Crimean Bridge,” he said in the video.

Yusubov also claimed that he is not even in Russia right now, and the truck was used by his “uncle” – his father’s cousin, Makhir Yusubov – who reportedly works in freight transportation. The man also said that his ‘uncle’ took transport orders from a website, without providing any further details.

Baza reported, citing Yusubov’s relatives, that Makhir was the de-facto owner of the truck. The channel also said that relatives recognized him in one of the CCTV videos showing the truck undergoing a check prior to the incident.

Mash added that Makhir has not been in contact with his relatives since at least October 6, two days prior to the incident.Could the driver be involved in the plot?

Russian business daily RBK claimed that the driver might have been unaware of what the truck was carrying. He supposedly received a fertilizer transport order, it reported, citing a security source who added that he was allegedly “kept in the dark.”

Baza further reported that investigators searched the apartments of Makhir Yusubov’s relatives. However, Russian officials have not confirmed this and have yet to name any suspects.

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