A man identifying himself as Viktor poses for a photograph after receiving treatment for injuries sustained from a shock wave that followed after a falling object was sighted in the sky in the Urals region, at an emergency room in a hospital in Chelyabinsk February 15, 2013.(Reuters / Andrei Kuzmin)
‘Shock and frustration’: Locals report on meteorite crash in Russian Urals (VIDEO)
Published: 15 February, 2013, 11:47
Video: A collapsed wall at the Chelyabinsk zinc factory after a meteorite fell nearby. Photo: Twitter.com user @varlamov(6.2Mb)
MOSCOW (AP) - A meteor streaked across the sky above Russia's Ural Mountains on Friday morning, causing sharp explosions and reportedly injuring around 100 people, including many hurt by broken glass.
Fragments of the meteor fell in a thinly populated area of the Chelyabinsk region, the Emergency Ministry said in a statement.
Interior Ministry spokesman Vadim Kolesnikov said 102 people had called for medical assistance following the incident, mostly for treatment of injuries from glass broken by the explosions.
Kolsenikov also said about 600 square meters (6000 square feet) of a roof at a zinc factory had collapsed.
Reports conflicted on what exactly happened in the clear skies. A spokeswoman for the Emergency Ministry, Irina Rossius, told The Associated Press that there was a meteor shower, but another ministry spokeswoman, Elena Smirnikh, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying it was a single meteorite.
Amateur video broadcast on Russian television showed an object speeding across the sky about 9:20 a.m. local time (0320 GMT), leaving a thick white contrail and an intense flash.
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A meteor shower has rained down on central Russia, reportedly injuring dozens of people and causing widespread damage. Witnesses in the Ural region reported flashes and sharp explosions in the morning sky.
Russian Interior Ministry spokesman Vadim Kolesnikov said that at least 100 people called for medical assistance early Friday when meteor fragments hit the sparsely populated Ural's region of Chelyabinsk.
Most of those injured were treated for minor cuts and bruises from shattered glass broken by the explosions, the local police department told Russia's RIA Novosti news agency. The impact reportedly blew out windows from a number of buildings, although the extent of the damage remains unclear.
"A meteorite disintegrated above the Urals [mountain range in central Russia], partially burning up in the lower atmosphere," the local office of the national Emergencies Ministry announced in a statement.
"At 11 a.m. local time [0500 GMT] we received numerous calls of panic, power cuts and contusions," the Interfax news agency quoted the local government as saying.
A nuclear power plant in the region is thought to have been unaffected.
ccp/mkg (AFP, AP, Reuters)
400 injured by meteorite falls in Russian Urals
A germinid meteor streaks from the sky over a barn in Saukville, Wis. on Dec. 14, 2012. (Photo: AP, Jeffrey Phelps)
15 February 2013 /AP, MOSCOW
A meteor streaked across the sky above Russia's Ural Mountains on Friday morning, causing sharp explosions and injuring more than 400 people, many of them hurt by broken glass.