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'On the Eve of the First World War, the single Siberian province of Irkutsk was larger than all of India'
W.Bruce Lincoln

Urals hit by meteorite strikes causing 1,200 injuries to locals and fears of 'doomsday'

By The Siberian Times reporter
15 February 2013

Spectacular falling meteorite fragments struck the Chelyabinsk region on Friday morning exploding in the atmosphere and crashing to the ground.

The meteorite apparently broke up, one part falling close to a school and another near a factory where cables were damaged either from the falling object or the associated explosion

A large fireball flashed across the sky at around 9.20am local time, evidently breaking into several pieces. Pictures show a streak of smoke followed by several bright blasts of flames. 

The explosions shattered glass in more than 300 apartment blocks in the vicinities of the strikes, causing injuries to 1,200 people, some 200 of them children. 

Meteorite SIberia


Meteorite SIberia


Meteorite SIberia


Meteorite SIberia


Meteorite SIberia


Meteorite SIberia

Spectacular falling meteorite fragments struck the Chelyabinsk region on Friday morning exploding in the atmosphere and crashing to the ground

One eyewitness Gulnara Dudka, in her 20s, gave a dramatic account of the meteorite, telling how she feared 'doomsday' had arrived.

'What was it? People said it was a plane that fell and exploded,' she said. 

'I saw a bright blast from behind me. Everything was lit up, a very bright light. 

'It was like from Armageddon movie when the meteorite rain started, I really thought it was doomsday. 

'It was so scary especially the explosion. It was very strong. I am speechless. It was so strong. My camera couldn't reproduce how strong the bang was.'

 There were initial fears that the explosion was caused by a plane crash but officials immediately identified a meteorite which flew at phenomenal speed over Kazakhstan, southern Siberia, and over the Urals. 

meteorite Siberia


meteorite Siberia
meteorite Siberia
meteorite Siberia
The meteorite apparently broke up, one part falling close to a school and another near a factory where cables were damaged either from the falling object or the associated explosion

The meteorite apparently broke up, one part falling close to a school and another near a factory where cables were damaged either from the falling object or the associated explosion.

Many injured had bloodied faces from being hit by shards of glass broken in the explosions. One child's back was seen covered in blood. But there were However no reports of fatalities. 

Windows were also broken in at least a dozen schools and three hospitals. Officials stressed that radiation levels remained normal amid fears that one of dozens of nuclear facilities in the region could have been hit. 

'All Rosatom enterprises located in the Urals region - including the Mayak complex - are working as normal,' an unnamed Rosatom spokesman told Interfax.

The meteorite 'was quite a large object with a mass of several dozen tonnes', estimated Russian astronomer Sergei Smirnov of the Pulkovo observatory.

'The meteorite that passed over the Chelyabinsk region fell into a body of water 1km from the city of Chebarkul', said a statement posted on the website of Chelyabinsk governor, Mikhail Yurevich.

The lake had a huge hole in the ice on its surface in minus 20C, it was reported.

Seven planes were searching for fragments of the meteorite that fell across the Urals region. 

On one version, the meteorite was several metres in diameter before it broke up exploding as it neared the surface. 

Meteorite attack Siberia


Meteorite attack Siberia


Meteorite attack Siberia


Meteorite attack Siberia


Meteorite attack Siberia


Meteorite attack Siberia

The strike came on the same day an unrelated asteroid is expected to pass safely by Earth, causing no damage

Nine people were hospitalised. More than 500 needed medical attention but in almost all cases they were not seriously hurt. Eyewtinesses told of their encounters with the other-worldly power of this extra-terrestrial object. 

'I was driving in the car across the square. Suddenly the square lit up with a bright, bright light, not a normal light,' said Vasily Rozhko.

Children were left panic-stricken as windows smashed at School Number 15 in Chelyabinsk.

'First there was an unreal light that lit up all the classrooms on the right side of the school. That kind of light doesn't happen in life, only at the end of the world, then a trail appeared like from a plane but only 10 times bigger,' said teacher Valentina Nikolayeva.

'I was standing in the kitchen at that moment and saw in the sky a very bright flash at a great height. Then there was an explosion, it was so strong that the window opened, I was thrown away from it, and the cactuses that were standing on the windowsill flew all over the kitchen,' said Chelyabinsk resident Anton Yemelyanov.

'Suddenly the gloomy darkness of winter morning had gone, and a very bright light showered everything around,' said Alla Yeremicheva.

'It was like mid summer's day came suddenly at the end of winter. It lasted for several seconds. Initially there were no sounds.

'Then it was a huge, huge BANG! Several times. We had the windows and balcony door slightly open, so everything was thrown to the middle of the room. 

'I grabbed a coat and rushed downstairs to my daughter's school - luckily it was right out in the yard. When I touched the door to open it and get out it was still trembling and shaking. 

'The school building was there in one piece - Thank God. Many kids were panicking, many cried. As I ran I was looking at the sky. It was interesting how sharply the trace was cut in the sky. As my first thought was that it was a plane - we sometimes have SU24 planes flying over the city. I was surprised to see it being so sharply cut.

'The mobile connection was out for a while. Internet seemed to be on, with perhaps a short pause. My mother watched it from another part of the city. She said she clearly saw a big ball of light. My sister was walking to the office right in the direction of where the 'comet' was coming from, and clearly saw some 'rocket like' streak. 

'So it must have been that the asteroid was grounded, cracked into several parts by a rocket.'

She added: 'Glass is broken in many places, glass shop windows are broken anywhere you look. THe schools and hospitals are badly damaged as the window frames there are from ages ago. People in the public transport share each other's experiences, like some had parts of the ceiling falling down, some had parts of the walls falling. 

'Overall the mood is calm. There is no panic, though everyone had quite a serious shock'.

Meteorite Siberia

First pieces of the meteorite found on the ice of lake Chebarkul', Chelyabinsk region

The stadium of Chelyabinsk's Traktor ice hockey side was hit and State television showed a part of the roof and a wall shorn off a brick zinc factory in the city.  

'At 0920 (0320 GMT) an object was observed above Chelyabinsk which flew by at great speed and left a trail behind. Within two minutes there were two bangs', said regional emergencies official Yuri Burenko. 

'The shockwave broke glass in Chelyabinsk and a number of other towns in the region. There were thousands of phone calls that something was found and the forest is burning'.

Reports also suggested fragments fell on Satka, 200km (120 miles) from Chelyabinsk, the regional capital. Other reports suggested a meteorite shower.

'I was sitting at home and typing something on my computer. Suddenly there was a huge bright flash', said Konstantin Zharinov, historian and journalist from Chelyabinsk. 

'At first I thought something happened at my neighbours place but a minute later the sound of the explosion came.'

He said ' many lost their windows, glass is everywhere in the streets'.

The meteorite flew across the Russian sky from the direction of Kazakhstan, its trajectory going over southern Siberia, above the Tyumen, Kurgan and Sverdlovsk regions, said the head of the Urals regional branch of the Emergencies Ministry press service, Vadim Grebennikov. 

'At the moment we are checking the territories and counting how many towns and settlements suffered from it. 

'First information is the meteorite did not fall down but exploded in the air'.

Radiation levels were normal, said officials. Residents in one 19 storey block reported feeling the shockwaves of the explosions. 

The sounds of car alarms and breaking windows could be heard in the area, said a witness, and there were reports that the internet and mobile networks were temporarily down.

'Preliminary indications are that it was a meteorite rain,' said an emergency official.

'We have information about a blast at 10,000-meter (32,800-feet) altitude. It is being verified.'

The trace from a falling object could be seen in Yekaterinburg, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) southeast of Chelyabinsk, said a witness cited by Reuters.

The strike came on the same day an unrelated asteroid is expected to pass safely by Earth, causing no damage.

Comments (5)

Hahaha, it's impossible to fake a zero Geiger count but it's worth a try! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2280019/The-gold-rush-begins-fragments-Russian-meteor-selling-6-500-astronomers-warn-UK-lucky-escape.html
Cam, Yorkshire, England
18/02/2013 09:58
1
0
60 years ago my dad bought a small English/Russian dictionary with no hope of having a Russian penpal. Yesterday morning I got a message on Skype from the Urals "What's happening?". I emailed the Russian website she sent to Sky TV pronto. Metal's expensive at the moment, meteorite iron's almost devoid of radioactivity therefore highly sought after for scientific devices.
Cam, Yorkshire, England
16/02/2013 11:04
2
0
I felt the Earth move.
Knickers Zonanoff, The Urals
15/02/2013 17:45
5
0
Borat is responsible.
Johnnie Walker, Scotland
15/02/2013 16:02
6
0
There is some shocking footage of this Russian meteorite flying through the sky
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGXvLdaMDWk
Reg Reg, UK
15/02/2013 15:40
6
0
1

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