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Russia detains Turkish ship suspected of crashing into the Kerch Strait bridge construction
Source: TASS

Russian officials at Taganrog port have reportedly detained a Turkish cargo ship thought to have crashed into one of the support beams of a temporary bridge now under construction across the Kerch Strait, which separates the Russian mainland from Crimea.

According to the news agency TASS, port officials noticed traces of fresh paint on the ship, which they suspect means the crew “tried to cover up the evidence of a collision with the [bridge's] support beam.”

Officials are currently reviewing the ship's insurance coverage and the possibility of obtaining compensation from the ship's owners for the damage to the bridge.

On March 19, a Turkish ship sailing under the Panamanian flag is said to have crashed into a support beam of a temporary bridge now under construction across the Kerch Strait. It later emerged that the ship was off course and without its pilot.

Federal highway officials charged with building the bridge say the collision hasn't affected the project's timeline. Crews are currently building three temporary bridges to deliver materials and equipment to construction sites on the Kerch Peninsula in Crimea and on Tuzla island in the middle of the Kerch Strait. The permanent bridge is scheduled for construction by early 2019. According to Russian officials, this final bridge will be protected from possible collisions with ships.