“A meteor streaked across the sky and exploded over central Russia on Friday, raining fireballs over a wide area and causing a shock wave that smashed windows, damaged buildings and injured more than 1,000 people.
People heading to work in Chelyabinsk heard what sounded like an explosion, saw a bright light and then felt the shock wave, according to a Reuters correspondent in the industrial city 1,500 km (950 miles) east of Moscow.
The fireball, travelling at a speed of 30 km (19 miles) per second according to Russian space agency Roscosmos, had blazed across the horizon, leaving a long white trail that could be seen as far as 200 km (125 miles) away.
Car alarms went off, thousands of windows shattered and mobile phone networks were disrupted. The Interior Ministry said the meteor explosion, a very rare spectacle, also unleashed a sonic boom.
“More than 1,200 people were injured when a massive meteor broke apart above the Russian city of Chelyabinsk today, raining burning bits of rock over the city that shattered windows and caused a panic.
The injured includes at least 204 children. Early figures indicated that 30 adults and 13 children were taken to hospitals, authorities told the Russian news agency Interfax. Two were reported to be in serious condition.
Witnesses said they thought a war had broken out.
Dashboard cameras captured a blinding flash of light streaking across the sky. The streaking meteor fragments triggered sonic booms and their impact set off car alarms and exploded windows. The wall of a zinc factory collapsed.
NASA scientists in the U.S. also confirmed that the meteor was not related to asteroid DA14.