Hundreds Injured in Russian Meteorite Crash

By By Matt Alto, Meteorologist
February 19, 2013, 4:20:39 AM EST


According to emergency management officials, nearly 1100 people were injured Friday morning in Chelayabinsk, most by flying glass, after a meteorite damaged thousands of buildings.

A meteor streaked across the sky Friday morning over the Ural Mountains, causing large explosions, bright flashes and numerous injuries in southern Russia.

The fragments of the meteor fell in the thinly-populated Chelyabinsk region, located about 930 miles to the east of Moscow. The incident took place around 9:20 a.m. local time (0320 GMT).

Many witnesses reported that the meteor caused a sharp explosion which shook the ground, much like an earthquake. This intense explosion caused many glass windows to shatter and set off car alarms in the Chelyabinsk region.

The weather Friday in Chelyabinsk was cold, with a high temperature of 25ºF, which could make clean-up uncomfortable.

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Interior Ministry spokesman Vadim Kolsenikov told the Associated Press that more than 400 people hurt following the incident, mostly from glass broken by the explosions. The number of injured may continue to change, with reporting that the number of injuries has risen to around 950.

The spokesman also said about 600 square meters (6,000 square feet) of a roof at a zinc factory had collapsed.

Government officials also reported that some fragments fell near the town of Satka, located about 120 miles outside the regional capital city of Chelyabinsk.

According to some astronomers, this meteor is unlikely to be related to the asteroid 2012 DA14 that is expected to pass by the Earth Friday.

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