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NEWS WATCH: Massive Meteor Hits Russia: Hundreds Injured

Friday, February 15, 2013 (9:16 pm)
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By BosNewsLife News Center and BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos

UralMountain

More than 750 people were injured in the meteor blast.



CHELYABINSK/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)-- A meteor with the power of an atomic bomb hit central Russia Friday, February 15, injuring more than 750 people and causing damage to buildings across the Ural Mountains, emergency officials said. At least three of those injured the blast are in critical condition, though no deaths have been reported.

Russians filmed how the Ural Mountain city of Chelyabinsk, was first treated to a spectacular, fast-growing light and fire ball, before it was rocked by a massive blast from space.

The Russian Academy of Sciences said a meteor of about 10 tons entered the Earth's atmosphere at a supersonic speed of at least 54,000 kilometers per hour and shattered between 30 and 50 kilometers above ground. The meteor deeply frightened thousands, with some elderly women reportedly declaring the world was coming to an end.

Its impact caused widespread damage to homes and other buildings, injuring hundreds.

HOSPITAL STRUGGLING

Surgeon Vladimir Basmannikov was among those struggling to treat the patients. “The wounds that people have are mainly cuts and bruises, due to windows and window frames breaking and flying around," he said. "And you can see how many people are here. We’ve already treated 60 or 70, and we still have a corridor full of people.”

Experts say meteors often cause sonic booms when they enter the atmosphere because they are travelling much faster than the speed of sound. Injuries on the scale reported Friday, however, are rare.

It is thought another meteor hit Russia's Siberia region over 100 years ago.

Friday's spectacle came less than a day before an asteroid, the size of an Olympic swimming pool, is to make the closest recorded pass of an asteroid to the Earth, but the European Space Agency claimed there was no connection.



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