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 are seeking medical attention for minor injuries.
According to unconfirmed reports, the meteorite was intercepted by an air defense unit at the Urzhumka settlement near Chelyabinsk. A missile salvo blew the meteorite to pieces at an altitude of 20 kilometers, local newspaper Znak reports quoting a source in the military.
Regnum news agency quoted a military source who claimed that the vapor condensation trail of the meteorite speaks to the fact that the meteorite was intercepted by air defenses.
A bright flash was seen in the Chelyabinsk, Tyumen and Sverdlovsk regions, Russia’s Republic of Bashkiria and in northern Kazakhstan.
“As of 13:00 Moscow time, 500 people have sought medical attention [in the disaster area], 22 of whom have been hospitalized,” Vladimir Stepanov, head of Russian national crisis management center EMERCOM told Vesti 24 news channel. Among the injured there are 84 children, Emergency ministry reported.
Friday, February 15, 2013
500 people injured in Russian meteorite explosion in the stratosphere (Video)