A large explosion rocked Romanian waters at a popular tourist resort earlier today. It is believed a Russian mine caused the blast near a pier in front of the Forum Hotel in Costinești.
The explosive was presumed to be a Russian sea mine, a spokesman for the Romanian navy told TV channel Digi24. No one was injured, the civil defence said. There are reports of another such device floating in the waters.
Romanian divers have been sent to the location to investigate, Corneliu Pavel, spokesman for the Romanian navy, told the media.
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Romanian navy has defused five Russian mines in the Black Sea.
“These sea mines are a danger not only to shipping but also to shore-based activities,” Pavel said.
Costinești and its beach front is a popular summer destination for young people and students.
An eyewitness said he heard a loud bang, after which black smoke could be seen. The explosion is said to have taken place some 100 metres off the coastline.
Vergil Chițac, the mayor of Costinești, assured local media that the incident would not impact August 15’s Navy Day celebrations.
The latest incident comes as Russia is blocking Ukrainian ships from exporting grain.
Costinești lies closer to Bulgaria than Ukraine, indicating the Russian weapon might have ended up there accidentally.
Romania is a member of NATO and the European Union. If such Russian weaponry had caused civilian injury or worse, that could have resulted in a major international crisis, analysts say.
A naval mine struck a pier this morning in the summer holiday resort town of Costinești, near Constanța in Romania and exploded.
Another mine drifting from Ukrainian waters has been spotted near Costinești.
Romanian Navy divers are on their way to dismantle it.
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) August 14, 2023