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 Post subject: Meteorite explosion over Russia injures hundreds
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 15 Feb 2013 10:06 
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Meteorite explosion over Russia injures hundreds

Around 400 people reported injured by glass from explosion as
meteorite flared in the sky and broke up over Ural Mountains


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A meteor shower in the Urals Federal District in central Russia shattered residents' windows, shook the ground and caused several injuries Friday morning, the Emergency Situations Ministry reported.

The first reports came in around 7:55 a.m., with witnesses in Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg and Tyumen saying they saw flashes in the sky, heard massive thunder and witnessed windows shatter, Yelena Smirnykh, deputy head of the ministry's information department, told Interfax.

Debris is believed to have landed in several places throughout the Chelyabinsk region, and windows in the buildings closest to the meteor's trajectory shattered, causing several injuries.

As of 12:00 p.m., over 400 injuries were documented, RIA-Novosti reported, citing the Interior Ministry.

The Chelyabinsk administration has created a working group headed by Deputy Governor Igor Murog to deal with the aftermath of the meteor shower and arrange medical assistance for those injured.

The Volga Federal District was also affected by the meteor shower.

"The flashes in the lower layers of the atmosphere caused by a meteor shower were recorded above both the Urals and the Volga Federal District, the impact of which caused windows to shatter in the upper floors of buildings," Smirnykh said.

In Chelyabinsk, the region that appears to have been the hardest hit, cell phone service is reportedly down and several evacuations have been carried out. According to Interfax, all schools and kindergartens in the region have been closed by order of the Federal Consumer Protection Service.

The Emergency Situations Ministry is working in an intensified regime, with 20,000 workers put on high alert, Lenta.ru reported. The ministry says it doesn't expect any more meteor showers, however.

Residents initially thought the incident was caused by fighter jets flying too close to the ground.

"It was unclear, there were flashes with movements of something that looked like a comet or meteor. The airport is working according to its normal schedule," said Yevgeny Krasikov, a spokesman for Yekaterinburg-based Koltsovo Airport.

One witness from Emanzhilinsk in the Chelyabinsk region said, "It started to explode in the air and then continued to the earth. There are black clouds over the city. Everybody thought war had broken out."

Residents in Chelyabinsk have also reported a strong smell from the burning debris.

The Emergency Situations Ministry reported that radiation levels in the areas affected by the meteor are normal, and they will continue to be monitored closely.




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 Post subject: Re: Meteorite explosion over Russia injures hundreds
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: 16 Feb 2013 13:15 
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Meteorite hits Russian Urals:
Fireball explosion wreaks havoc, up to 1,200 injured


Latest Update

Russia’s Urals region has been rocked by a meteorite explosion in the stratosphere.
The impact wave damaged several buildings, and blew out thousands of windows
amid frigid winter weather. Hundreds have sought medical attention for minor injuries.


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Around 1200 people have sought medical attention in Chelyabinsk alone because of the disaster, the region's governor Mikhail Yurevich told RIA Novosti. Over 110 of them have been hospitalized and two of them are in heavy condition. Among the injured there are 159 children, Emergency ministry reported. A 52-year-old woman who suffered spinal fracture will be transported to Moscow for treatment.

Army units found three meteorite debris impact sites, two of which are in an area near Chebarkul Lake, west of Chelyabinsk. The third site was found some 80 kilometers further to the northwest, near the town of Zlatoust. One of the fragments that struck near Chebarkul left a crater six meters in diameter.

Servicemembers from the tank brigade that found the crater have confirmed that background radiation levels at the site are normal.

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A hole in Chebarkul Lake made by meteorite debris.

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The trail of a falling object is seen above a residential apartment block in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk.


Russian space agency Roskosmos has confirmed the object that crashed in the Chelyabinsk region is a meteorite:
“According to preliminary estimates, this space object is of non-technogenic origin and qualifies as a meteorite. It was moving at a low trajectory with a speed of about 30 km/s.”

According to estimates by the Russian Academy of Sciences, the space object weighed about 10 tons before entering Earth’s atmosphere.

According to preliminary reports, the worst damage on the ground in Chelyabinsk was at a zinc factory, the walls and roof of which were partially destroyed by an impact wave. The city's Internet and mobile service were reportedly interrupted because of the damage inflicted near the factory.

Chelyabinsk administration’s website said nearly 3,000 buildings were damaged to varying extents by the meteor shower in the city, including 34 medical facilities and 361 schools and kindergartens. The total amount of window glass shattered amounts to 100,000 square meters, the site said, citing city administration head Sergey Davydov. The ministry also said that no local power stations or civil aircraft were damaged by the meteorite shower, and that “all flights proceed according to schedule.”

Buildings were left without gas because facilities in the city had also been damaged, an Emergency Ministry spokesperson said, according to Russia 24 news channel.

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.

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