360° Coverage : Over 500 injured as meteor shower hits Russia

Over 500 injured as meteor shower hits Russia

Moscow, Feb 15 (IANS) More than 500 people, including 84 children, were injured when a meteorite shower rained down on three regions of Russia, and neighbouring Kazakhstan, officials said Friday.

Feb 15 2013, 5:32am CST | by

Over 500 injured as meteor shower hits Russia
Photo Credit: YURI KADOBNOV, Getty Images

Moscow, Feb 15 — More than 500 people, including 84 children, were injured when a meteorite shower rained down on three regions of Russia, and neighbouring Kazakhstan, officials said Friday.

Officials said 112 people have been hospitalised, with three in a "grave" condition, reported RIA Novosti.

Most people were injured by shattering windowpanes and many of the injuries seemed to be concentrated in the hard-hit Chelyabinsk region.

An estimated 20,000 emergency response workers have been mobilised. Background radiation levels reportedly remain unchanged. This was confirmed both by emergencies officials, and by the national nuclear agency, concerned because the area has a fair number of nuclear facilities.

Reports about whether this was one large meteorite or many smaller ones initially varied, but the national space agency, Roscosmos, confirmed by early afternoon that the object had been a single meteorite, a report given earlier by emergency officials.

"Verified information indicates that this was one meteorite which burned up as it approached the Earth and disintegrated into smaller pieces," deputy head of the Russian Emergencies Ministry press office, Elena Smirnykh said.

Roscosmos stated the meteorite had been moving at a speed of 30 km per second.

"All the city's residents saw blinding flashes, very bright ones," a teacher in the Chelyabinsk region told RIA Novosti.

"Suddenly, it was very, very horribly bright. Not like the lights got turned on, but as if everything was illuminated with unusual white light."

Officials are trying to determine where the fragments have landed.

The Chelyabinsk governor said one had fallen in a lake in his region, while others have been reported in the Tyumen, Kurgan and Sverdlovsk regions as well. Emergency officials in west Kazakhstan said they were searching for two unidentified objects that fell in the country's Aktobe region.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, speaking at an economic forum going on in Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region, called the meteorite "a symbol of the forum".

"I hope that there will be no serious consequences, but it is a demonstration that it is not only the economy that is vulnerable, but our planet as well," he said.

The European Space Agency (ESA) said there was no link between the meteorite and the 2012 DA14 asteroid which is due to pass close by the Earth Friday.

Buildings across Russia's Chelyabinsk region were damaged by falling meteorite particles and the shock waves and sonic booms caused by them, Russian officials said.

A roof and wall partly collapsed at a zinc factory in Chelyabinsk region after it was struck by the shock-wave from the meteorite, the interior ministry reported. The officials did not specify which factory it was.

South Ural State University cancelled classes for at least two days due to damage to its buildings.

"The roof did not collapse, but the damage is quite significant. The windows are broken, some of them were blown in with their frames," said a university spokeswoman. Some ceiling tiles also fell down, she added.

Windows were also broken in at least a dozen schools and three hospitals. The roof of a Chelyabinsk ice rink has also been damaged.

The Yuzhnouralskaya district power station had 10 percent of its windows broken but there was no effect on its operations, Russian energy supplier Inter RAO reported.

Russia's nuclear agency, Rosatom, said its facilities across the affected regions were functioning normally. The defence ministry also said none of its properties were damaged.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/8" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com. Luigi posts regularly on LuigiMe.com about his experience running I4U.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

School headmaster shot dead in Pakistan
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) Unidentified gunmen Thursday killed the headmaster of a private school in Pakistan's Balochistan province.
 
 
Four more bodies recovered from sunken South Korean ship
Seoul, Dec 4 (IANS) Four more bodies were recovered Thursday from a sunken South Korean fishing ship in the Bering Sea, the foreign ministry here said.
 
 
Lesbian couple asked to desist in London restaurant
London, Dec 4 (IANS) A lesbian couple in a London restaurant was asked to desist by a staff member, who asked them to "stop what you are doing".
 
 
Oxford Dictionaries to add 1,000 new words
London, Dec 4 (IANS) 'Mamil' (middle-aged man in Lycra), 'silvertail' (a person who is socially prominent or who displays social aspirations) and 'crony capitalism' are among the 1,000 new words to be added to OxfordDictionaries.com, the free online dictionary, in its largest quarterly update so far.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Australian researcher discovers first artwork by early human
Sydney, Dec 4 (IANS) An Australian researcher has discovered what is believed to be the first artwork created by a human. The simple zigzag pattern found on a fossilized shell from the Indonesian island of Java has...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Insects compete with rats to clear garbage
New York, Dec 4 (IANS) Insects play a very important role in cleaning up cities and they compete with other pests like rats and pigeons in their endeavour, a study has said. Scientists sampled arthropods - such as...
Read more on Business Balla
 
School headmaster shot dead in Pakistan
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) Unidentified gunmen Thursday killed the headmaster of a private school in Pakistan's Balochistan province. Police officials said the armed men opened fire at the vehicle of Zahid Ali,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Four more bodies recovered from sunken South Korean ship
Seoul, Dec 4 (IANS) Four more bodies were recovered Thursday from a sunken South Korean fishing ship in the Bering Sea, the foreign ministry here said. This increased the toll to 16, including six South Koreans and 10...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Lesbian couple asked to desist in London restaurant
London, Dec 4 (IANS) A lesbian couple in a London restaurant was asked to desist by a staff member, who asked them to "stop what you are doing". Lydia Cawson, 29, said that she and her girlfriend were asked by a staff...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Oxford Dictionaries to add 1,000 new words
London, Dec 4 (IANS) 'Mamil' (middle-aged man in Lycra), 'silvertail' (a person who is socially prominent or who displays social aspirations) and 'crony capitalism' are among the 1,000 new words to be added to...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Oceans play key role in global 'warming hiatus'
London, Dec 4 (IANS) Increased heat uptake across three oceans - North Atlantic, the Southern Ocean and Equatorial Pacific Ocean - is the likely cause of the 'warming hiatus' -- the current decade-long slowdown in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Novel imaging to identify if TB drugs are working
Washington, Dec 4 (IANS) Tuberculosis patients who are not cured of the infection can develop multi-drug resistant TB and have to take as many as six drugs for two years. Now, researchers at University of Pittsburgh...
Read more on Business Balla
 
PM makes first appointment to High Court of Australia
Canberra, Dec 4 (IANS) Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government Thursday appointed former Victorian Supreme Court judge Geoffrey Nettle as the next Justice of the High Court of Australia. Attorney General George...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
18 suspected militants killed in Pakistan airstrikes
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) At least 18 suspected militants were killed Thursday in airstrikes conducted by Pakistan Air Force fighter jets in North Waziristan. According to officials, the airstrikes were conducted in...
Read more on Politics Balla