Crafty Russian Thieves Steal Entire Bridge Without Anyone Noticing for Months
If someone from Russia says they have a bridge for sale, they might actually be for real.
Now, you’ve heard of cars, bikes, and even parts being stolen by thieves to make a quick buck, but how about an entire bridge? International news outlets report that locals noticed the sudden disappearance of an overpass just outside the abandoned settlement of Oktyabrskaya, roughly 100 miles south of Murmansk. Located in a desolate area near the border of Finland in the Arctic region, the bridge was a crucial crossing for the Umba River and was formerly an active railway crossing.
Russian authorities launched a criminal investigation into the disappearance of the nearly 62-ton, 75-foot-long span. Rumor has it that the bridge was dismantled by metal thieves for scrap, which is an apparent issue throughout the region.
Photos of the bridge began circulating in mid-May on Russian social media site, VK, which showed that the span had collapsed into the Umba River. Roughly 10 days later on May 26, more photos surfaced of the bridge showing that the rubble had randomly disappeared without a trace.
Locals believe that the span’s collapse and total disappearance was not an act of nature.
“Natural phenomena could not bring down the bridge,” the captions to the photos read on VK. "Even if you bring in an icebreaker, then it’s strange that the lower road bridge nearby wasn’t knocked over. Most likely, metalworkers pulled the structure down into the water, and there they slowly took it apart into scrap pieces.”
The bridge was originally used to transport line for a rare-earth ore processing plant in the area but was decommissioned when the business filed for bankruptcy in 2007. Since then, the bridge’s steel rail tracks were removed while the rest of the bridge remained.
Amazingly, according to supplementing reports, the bridge theft has cost its owner around 600,000 rubles, or just $9,201 USD.