Trains disrupted in Russia's Samara region after blast rocks rail bridge

Credit: REUTERS/Florion Goga

Updates throughout with details, adds Ukraine comment

MOSCOW, March 4 (Reuters) - Russia's state railway company said on Monday it had been forced to cancel and re-route some trains in the Samara region after an explosion at a rail bridge, which Ukrainian military intelligence claimed was used by trains carrying ammunition.

An explosion rocked the bridge, which spans the River Chapayevka near the Russian city of Samara, around 530 miles (850 km) southeast of Moscow, early on Monday morning, Russian news agencies reported, citing emergency services.

Located on the Volga river, the Samara region is one of Russia's heavy industry hubs.

Ukrainian military intelligence issued a statement in which it "confirmed" but did not take responsibility for the blast. It said the rail line was used by Russia to transport military cargo, including ammunition made at a factory nearby.

It forecast the bridge would be out of use for some time.

Reuters could not confirm the Ukrainian assertion. Russia regards the location of its military factories as a state secret. Russia and Ukraine have targeted each other's infrastructure in the course of the two-year war that Moscow calls a "special military operation".

Traffic over the bridge was suspended due to what local rail authorities called "illegal interference." One image posted on social media and verified by Reuters showed some damage to the metal structure of the bridge on one side but the concrete support appeared intact.

Local media in Samara said sappers and Russia's National Guard were on the scene. Unverified images posted on social media showed what looked like at least one homemade bomb on the scene which had not gone off.

Nobody was reported to have been hurt in the incident.

(Reporting by Reuters Moscow buro Additional reporting by Dan Peleschuk in Kyiv, Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Sharon Singleton)

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