Stunning Pics & Video: Reports of Many Injuries From Meteorite Strike in Russia’s Ural Mountains
MOSCOW (TheBlaze/AP) — A Russian health official says nearly 1,000 people have sought help for injuries caused by a meteor that exploded in the sky, blasting out countless windows.
Chelyabinsk health chief Marina Moskvicheva, said Friday that 985 people in her city had asked for medical assistance. The Interfax news agency quoted her as saying 43 were hospitalized.
The Russian Academy of Sciences said the meteor – estimated to be about 10 tons – entered the Earth’s atmosphere going at least 54,000 kph (33,000 mph). It shattered about 30-50 kilometers (18-32 miles) above the ground, releasing several kilotons of energy above the Ural Mountains.
The European Space Agency said it was not related to the asteroid currently slated to buzz by earth about 17,000 miles away.
There are also rumors that the meteor was intercepted by rockets, but that is unconfirmed.
Original story and videos below.
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.
A series of explosions in the skies of Russia’s Urals region, reportedly caused by a meteorite shower, has sparked panic in three major cities. Witnesses said that houses shuddered, windows were blown out and cellphones have stopped working.
[Editor's note: Watch past the first 14 seconds:]
According to unconfirmed reports, the meteorite was intercepted by an air defense unit at the Urzhumka settlement near Chelyabinsk. A missile salvo reportedly blew the meteorite to pieces at an altitude of 20 kilometers.
Up to 150 people sought medical attention as a result of the incident, according to the Russian Interior Ministry. No serious injuries have been reported, with most of the injuries caused by broken glass and minor concussions.
Lifenews tabloid said that at least one piece of the fallen object caused damage on the ground in Chelyabinsk. According to preliminary reports, it crashed into a wall near a zinc factory, disrupting the city’s Internet and mobile service.
The Emergency Ministry reported that 20,000 rescue workers are operating in the region. Three aircraft were deployed to survey the area and locate other possible impact locations.
Witnesses said the explosion was so loud that it seemed like an earthquake and thunder had struck at the same time, and that there were huge trails of smoke across the sky. Others reported seeing burning objects fall to earth.
Residents across the Urals region were informed about the incident through a cellphone text message from the regional Emergency Ministry.
Many locals reported that the explosion rattled their houses and smashed windows.
“This explosion, my ears popped, windows were smashed… phone doesn’t work,”
Evgeniya Gabun wrote on Twitter.
“My window smashed, I am all shaking! Everybody says that a plane crashed,” Twitter user Katya Grechannikova reported.
“My windows were not smashed, but I first thought that my house is being dismantled, then I thought it was a UFO, and my eventual thought was an earthquake,” Bukreeva Olga wrote on Twitter.
The Mayak nuclear complex near the town of Ozersk was not affected by the incident, according to reports. Mayak, one of the world’s biggest nuclear facilities that used to house plutonium production reactors and a reprocessing plant, is located 72 kilometers northwest of Chelyabinsk.
It is believed that the incident may be connected to asteroid 2012 DA14, which measures 45 to 95 meters in diameter and will be passing by Earth tonight at around 19:25 GMT at the record close range of 27,000 kilometers.
Read more here.
• 7 Answers to the Questions You’re Probably Asking About the Russian Meteor: ‘Is It Related to the Asteroid Flying-By Earth Right Now?’
• What’s The Difference Between a Meteor, Meteorite, Comet, and an Asteroid?
- Why Were DHS Agents Seemingly Monitoring Multiple Tea Party IRS Protests Across the Country on Tuesday? 435 Comments
- Confusion Erupts in IRS Hearing After Lois Lerner Tries to Plead the 5th — Watch It All Unfold 411 Comments
- Shock Video Surfaces: Meat Cleaver-Wielding Man Shouts ‘You People Will Never Be Safe!’ Moments After Gruesome London Attack 342 Comments
- CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Has Awkward Moment With Okla. Tornado Survivor After Asking If She ‘Thanked the Lord’ 319 Comments
- More Than $1 Million Raised Through Mercury One for Oklahoma Tornado Relief 266 Comments
- ‘Unbelievable’: Apparent Thief Leaves $140 & Apology Note on Family’s Doorstep — Find Out Why Read More
- Anti-Gay Bias or Fair Punishment? New Details Emerge About High School Student’s Lesbian Relationship With a Minor 102 Comments
- Comedian’s New Anti-Muhammad Video Excoriates Islamic Prophet, Juxtaposes Him with Jesus: ‘Very Wrong and Twisted’ 126 Comments
- Teacher Admits She ‘Prayed Out Loud’ During Violent Tornado: ‘I Did the Teacher Thing that We’re Probably Not Supposed to Do’ 119 Comments
- Farrakhan Talks of ‘Satanic Jews’ and ‘Synagogue of Satan’ at Detroit Church Speech — but Wait Until You Hear Who Was in Attendance 230 Comments
- Here are the 7 Most Explosive & Informative Moments from Today’s IRS Hearing Read More
- Foreign Banks Operating on U.S. Soil Have Just Set a Record Read More
- The Tense Exchange Between Rep. Trey Gowdy and the Former IRS Head You’ve Been Waiting for…and It Doesn’t Disappoint 243 Comments
- Report: No IRS Workers Have Been Disciplined & Union Says It Hasn’t Been Contacted on Personnel Read More
- Ex-Cincinnati IRS Manager: This Was Not the Work of ‘Low-Level’ Employees Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ 114 Comments
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- Arias jury deadlocks but must keep deliberating
- ND ad agency sues creators of Cartoon Network show
- Minn. teen whose farewell song became web hit dies
- HP's 2Q offers hope even as revenue slump deepens
- Boy Scout leaders to vote on lifting gay ban
- 3rd grader who loved to sing among tornado victims
- WikiLeaks case file fight moves to federal court
- Tesla uses stock, note sale to repay government