More than 500 injured following meteor shower in Russia

6:30am Update 2-15-13:

MOSCOW (AP) - The Russian Academy of Sciences is estimating the meteor that streaked into the skies over the Ural Mountains and caused shock waves that injured more than 500 people weighed about 10 tons (11 tons avoirdupois).

The academy said in a statement hours after the Friday morning fall that the meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of at least 54,000 kph (33,000 mph) and shattered about 30-50 kilometers (18-32 miles) above ground.

The fall caused explosions that broke glass over a wide area. The Emergency Ministry says more than 500 people sought treatment after the blasts and that 34 of them were hospitalized.

5am Update 2-15-13:

MOSCOW (AP) - A thick white contrail, an intense flash and sharp explosions marked the passage today of a meteor across the sky above Russia's Ural Mountains, where more than 400 people have reported injuries, many from broken glass.

The Emergency Ministry says fragments of the meteorite fell in a thinly populated area of the Chelyabinsk region. And about 6000 square feet of a roof at a zinc factory collapsed.

A ministry spokeswoman calls the event a meteor shower while another ministry official says it was a single meteorite. The event was captured on amateur video.

3:30am Update 2-15-13:

MOSCOW (AP) - 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.

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 more than 400 people had sought medical treatment after the blasts, and at least three had been hospitalized in serious condition.

Many of the injuries were from glass broken by the explosions.

Original story:

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian officials say a meteorite has fallen in the Chelyabinsk region some 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) east of Moscow.

A spokesman for the Russian Interior Ministry, Vadim Kolesnikov, said the Friday morning fall caused a blast that broke windows.

There were no immediate confirmed reports of injuries, but Russian news agencies cited unnamed sources as saying several people were injured at a school in a thinly populated part of the region, which is on the eastern edge of the Ural Mountains.


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