Meteorite injures hundreds in Russia
Meteor shower in the Russia's Sverdlovsk region smashed windows in several houses and injured more than 700 people, according to recent reports. Meanwhile, Russian officials call the world powers to prevent extraterrestrial objects from falling to the Earth.
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Initially, a local emergency service in the Chelyabinks Region reported that a meteorite fell on the city, source told Interfax.
"An item, which has tentatively been identified as a meteorite, was observed falling. It may have broken into several pieces as it passed through the upper layers of the atmosphere," the source said.
People in the Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk regions have alerted local law enforcement agencies that they saw burning objects falling from the sky.
"Some of them mistook them for aircraft. However, there has been no air crash in the Urals region. All flights have departed and landed according to schedule. Windows in several houses in the Chelyabinsk region were reportedly smashed as a result of the meteorite fall," the source said.
Some people inside the High School No. 130 building in the Chelyabinsk region reportedly sustained minor injuries as several windows were smashed as a result of Friday's meteorite fall, an Interior Ministry spokesman told Interfax.
The meteorite fell in the Chelyabinsk region's Satka district, in an area located around 80 kilometers from the district's administrative center, the spokesman said.
"Windows were broken in many houses in Satka, as well as buildings in Chelyabinsk facing the crash site," he said.
The meteorite fell in the Chelyabinsk region's Satka district, in an area located around 80 kilometers from the district's administrative center, the Emergency Situations Ministry spokesperson said. Source: Youtube / martysoffice
At least 31 people were hospitalized with injuries following the meteor shower, Vladimir Stepanov, director of the Emergency Situations Ministry's National Crisis Management Center, told the Rossiya 24 television station.
"They were injured by falling glass. All of them, except for five people, received medical care and were allowed to go home. These five patients sustained deep cuts and will remain in the hospital," he said.
Some people inside the High School No. 130 building in the Chelyabinsk region reportedly sustained minor injuries as several windows were smashed as a result of Friday's meteorite fall. Source: ITAR-TASS
The meteorite debris damaged buildings in six cities, the press center reported, the Russian Interior Ministry said.
"What happened over the Urals region was not a meteor shower, as was reported earlier," Emergency Situations Ministry spokesperson Yelena Smirnykh said. "It was a meteorite, which burned up as it passed through the lower layers of the Earth atmosphere. However, it triggered an impact wave, which smashed windows in several houses in the region."
"There has been no increase in radiation levels," Smirnykh added. "The meteorite did not effect them."
The accident did not cause any disruption to mobile network operations in the region. Meteorite pieces are not expected to actually fall on to earth. However, regional emergency services have been put on high alert, the spokesperson said.
Likewise, Russia's chief epidemiologist, Gennady Onishchenko, claims that they have measured radiation levels in Chelyabinsk and confirmed that "all indicators are within the norm."
Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has reiterated the need for leading world powers to join forces to prevent extraterrestrial objects from falling to Earth.
"I have already spoken of the need for an international initiative aimed at creating an early warning system that would also prevent extraterrestrial objects from coming dangerously close to the Earth," Rogozin told Interfax following Friday's meteorite fall the Chelyabinsk region.
What happened in the Urals region today once again reaffirmed the relevance of such a decision, and neither Russia nor the United States is able to shoot down such incoming objects, he added.
The Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) believes meteorites falls such as the one that has occurred in Chelyabinsk are difficult to predict.
"According to available information, the object was not registered by Russian or foreign ground space observation systems due to its special movement characteristics. Entrance by such objects into the atmosphere is accidental and is currently difficult to predict," the Roscosmos press service told Interfax-AVN on Friday.
Roscosmos said the space object that has fallen in Chelyabinsk is a not an object of man-made origin and is classified as a meteorite moving at a speed of some 30 kilometers per second on a lower trajectory.
The article is based on materials from Interfax.
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