Friday, February 15, 2013

Meteor Explodes Over Russia--Hundreds Injured (Update)

From the Daily Mail

You've probably already heard of this incident, but if not, here is a story from the Daily Mail (warning: loud pop-up ad) and Reuters. The Daily Mail report states:
A terrifying meteorite shower left 1,000 people injured, buildings devastated and the mobile network wiped out when it hit Russia this morning.

Brightly burning rocks could be seen for miles as they crashed at around 9.20am local time and one bystander described it 'like a scene from the Armageddon movie.'

The meteorite landed in a lake near Chebarkul, a town in the neighbouring Chelyabinsk region.

The city of Chelyabinsk, 900 miles east of Moscow and close to the Kazakhstan border, took the brunt of the super sonic impact.

The Russian Ministry of Emergencies says 950 people have been injured, 82 of them are children and two are in intensive care.

Many of the injured had bloodied faces and one child's back was seen covered in blood.

Tim O'Brien, associate director of the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory, said the injuries were caused when the meteor created a sonic boom.

'This reasonably large chunk of rock was moving faster than the speed of sound, maybe 20,000 miles per hour. It made a sonic boom in the atmosphere, and that hit buildings and shattered windows. That is what seems to have caused the injuries,' he explained.

However, there were no reports of fatalities and it was not immediately clear if any people were struck by fragments.

A six metre wide hole was found in the ground close to Lake Chebarkul, said Russian military sources cited by RIA Novosti news agency.

Earlier it was thought the main body of the meteorite had hit the lake.

'The meteorite that passed over the Chelyabinsk region fell into a body of water 1km from the city of Chebarkul,' said a statement posted on the website of Chelyabinsk governor, Mikhail Yurevich.

According to an unconfirmed report in Russia Today, the meteorite was intercepted by Russian air defense.
Read the whole thing. The Daily Mail also has video and more photographs.

Update: There was no interception by Russian air defense. History of rumor here.

Update: (Feb. 16, 2013): Exploded "with the force of 20 atomic bombs." Roundup of more news here. Did another explode over Cuba?

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