Meteor Shower Causes Havoc, Injures Hundreds of People

First Posted: Feb 15, 2013 06:50 AM EST

Russia has been hit by a meteor shower triggering sharp explosions and injuring more than 400 people, reports USA Today.

The meteor streaked the sky Friday morning in central Russia and Urals regions, lighting up the blue sky, smashing windows and causing injury.

According to the Emergency Ministry, fragments of the meteor fell in thinly populated areas of Chelybinsk region. Parts of the meteorite fell from the town of Satki that is 100 kilometers west of the regional centre.

A medical source says that nearly 100 people have been rushed to hospitals for medical treatment and the cellular telephone communications were also disconnected temporarily, reports AFP.

Interior Ministry spokesman Vadim Kolesnikov says most of the injury was caused from glass broken by the explosion. Apart from this, a roof of a zinc factory also collapsed due to the explosion.

Reports on the incident are conflicting, as 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.

Based on the footage on the state television, two bright flashes were observed filling the sky at 9:00 a.m.

"There was panic. People had no idea what was happening. Everyone was going around to people's houses to check if they were OK. We saw a big burst of light then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud thundering sound," Sergey Hametov, a resident of Chelyabinsk, told The Associated Press by telephone.

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