In a concerning maritime incident, a Panama-flagged bulk carrier en route to a River Danube port for grain loading collided with a Russian mine in the Black Sea on Wednesday, resulting in injuries to two crew members, Ukrainian officials reported on Thursday.

This incident adds to a series of civilian vessels encountering explosives in the Black Sea, a trend that Kyiv attributes to heightened Russian attacks on shipping and port infrastructure.

According to Ukraine's southern military command on Telegram, the Panama-flagged civilian vessel suffered an explosion from an enemy sea mine in the Black Sea. The vessel lost control and direction, leading to a fire on the upper deck.

The casualties included a captain and an Egyptian sailor, the latter of whom is currently receiving medical attention in Izmail, as confirmed by the head of the Odesa regional prosecutor's office during a briefing. The incident occurred early on Wednesday at a river mouth.

The backdrop to this incident involves Moscow's alleged escalation of attacks on Ukraine's port infrastructure since mid-July, following its withdrawal from a U.N.-brokered deal facilitating the safe passage of Ukrainian grain shipments through the Black Sea.

Kyiv has responded by establishing an alternative route along the western shores of the Black Sea, citing repeated instances of Russian forces deploying explosive devices in the vicinity.

This latest incident underscores the growing challenges in the region, with maritime safety and security at the forefront of concerns. Stay tuned for updates on this developing story as tensions persist in the Black Sea.