Meteorite shower injures over 400 in Russia: Interior Ministry

A meteor streaked across the sky above Russia's Ural Mountains today morning, causing sharp explosions and injuring more than 400 people, many of them hurt by broken glass.

"There was panic. People had no idea what was happening. Everyone was going around to people's houses to check if they were okay," said Sergey Hametov, a resident of Chelyabinsk, about 1500 kilometers east of Moscow, the biggest city in the affected region. 

Meteorite shower injures over 150 in Russia: Interior Ministry
The trail of a falling object is seen above a residential apartment block in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk (Pic - AFP)

"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.

Fragments of the meteor fell in a thinly populated area of the Chelyabinsk region, the Emergency Ministry said in a statement.

Interior Ministry spokesman Vadim Kolesnikov said more than 400 people had sought medical treatment after the blasts and at least three had been hospitalized in serious condition.

Many of the injuries were from glass broken by the explosions. Kolsenikov also said about 600 square meters of a roof at a zinc factory had collapsed.  

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