Crimea residents hear blast, Russia-installed official says unrelated to bridge

Residents of Russian-occupied Crimea reported an explosion near the bridge linking the peninsula to the Russian mainland early on Saturday, but a Russia-installed official in the region denied the bridge had come under attack.

"Once again, there was no direct attack on the Crimea bridge and there was no explosion in the immediate vicinity," Sergei Kryuchkov, an adviser to the Russia-installed governor of Crimea was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

Traffic was halted on the bridge in the early morning, the third such stop in the past 24 hours.