Drunken captain crashes Russian cargo ship into South Korean bridge

A Russian cargo ship crashed into a bi-level bridge on the coast of South Korea because its captain was drunk, authorities said Thursday.

A gaping five-metre wide hole was torn into the lower part of the bi-level bridge, according to Russian news website RBC, but there were no injuries reported.

Sections of the Gwangan Bridge in Busan were closed for precautionary purposes. It’s not illegal to consume alcohol while aboard a ship, but it is illegal to sail a ship while intoxicated.

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The captain ignored warnings from coast guards to change course because “he didn’t understand English well.”

The ship, which authorities say should have been heading in the opposite direction to the bridge, then turned around and sailed off the other way, according to the Korea Coast Guard.

Authorities claimed the ship had already hit a cruise ship 40 minutes before the bridge collision. The ship departed for Vladivostok, Russia on Thursday with 1,415 tons of steel coils.

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