Pictured: Panic as Russian residents injured by meteor

17:47 15 February 2013

A meteorite contrail is seen over Chelyabinsk. (AP Photo/Chelyabinsk.ru)

A meteorite contrail is seen over Chelyabinsk. (AP Photo/Chelyabinsk.ru)

A meteor was seen in the Russian sky before it exploded over the Ural Mountains with the power of an atomic bomb.

The meteorite contrail was seen over the vilage of Bolshoe Sidelnikovo (AP Photo/ Nadezhda Luchinina, E1.ru)The meteorite contrail was seen over the vilage of Bolshoe Sidelnikovo (AP Photo/ Nadezhda Luchinina, E1.ru)

Its sonic blasts shattered countless windows and injured nearly 1,000 people.

The spectacle deeply frightened many Russians, with some elderly women declaring that the world was coming to an end. Many of the injured were cut by flying glass as they flocked to windows to see what the source was for such an intense flash of light.

The meteor - estimated to be about 10 tons - entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of at least 54,000 kph (33,000 mph) and shattered into pieces about 30-50 kms (18-32 miles) above the ground, the Russian Academy of Sciences said.

Amateur video showed an object speeding across the sky about 9:20am local time, just after sunrise, leaving a thick white contrail and an intense flash.

A frame grab made from a video done with a dashboard camera. (AP Photo/AP Video)A frame grab made from a video done with a dashboard camera. (AP Photo/AP Video)

“There was panic. People had no idea what was happening,” said Sergey Hametov, a resident of Chelyabinsk, a city of one million about 1,500 kms (930 miles) east of Moscow.

“We saw a big burst of light, then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud, thundering sound,” he said.

The meteor released several kilotons of energy above the region, the science academy said. The shockwave blew in an estimated 100,000 square metres of glass, according to city officials.

The meteor hit less than a day before Asteroid 2012 DA14 is to make the closest recorded pass of an asteroid to the Earth - about 17,150 miles (28,000 kms).

This photo was taken with a mobile phone camera. (AP Photo/Sergey Hametov)This photo was taken with a mobile phone camera. (AP Photo/Sergey Hametov)

The Interior Ministry said 985 people sought medical care after the shock wave and 44 of them were taken to hospital. Most of the injuries were caused by flying glass, it said.

There was no immediate word on any deaths or anyone struck by space fragments.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

More from Around the web

Thursday, March 26, 2015
(Pic by Slide the City)

We’re super jealous of North Vancouver after it announced its residents would be playing on this massive slip and slide inflatable this summer.

Monday, March 16, 2015
We're feeding Britain's waterfowl their equivalent of junkfood, the Canal and River Trust has said [Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images]

Heading out to feed the ducks with a bag of leftover bread: it’s a heartwarming pastime, but one charity wants it to stop.

Monday, March 9, 2015
Now when men do this in the streets of Hamburg, they get a nasty surprise!

It’s a problem in all party cities - peeing in the street.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Home sweet home (Samsung Dream Doghouse)

This £20,000 kennel prove a dog’s life isn’t actually all that bad, in fact it’s pretty cushy.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
We'd probably soil ourselves [Image from YouTube]

One guy pulled a knife! You can see it in the final ten seconds of the video, when there’s a close-up of the ‘reveal’ with the man in the petrol station.

Thursday, February 26, 2015
Your neighbours might not like the new feature (Photo by Norman Smith/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Spotify is about to add a new feature which will let you sing along as your music plays on your desktop.

Don't Miss...

Quizzes

Fulham Wikipedia quiz

Prove your credentials as a true Fulham fan by taking our Whites Wikipedia quiz.

Read more
Crystal Palace Wikipedia quiz

Crystal Palace have had their fair share of legends down the years, with many former Eagles enjoying glittering careers.

Read more
Arsenal legend Tony Adams celebrates a goal against Manchester United at Highbury... will you be celebrating your quiz score? Picture: Allsport

This Arsenal history quiz will seperate the true fans from the rest. Test your knowledge of the Gunners’ illustrious history with 15 tricky teasers from London24.

Read more

What is this?

Near You Now