- The Washington Times - Friday, February 15, 2013

A huge fireball that streaked across Russia’s skies above the Ural Mountains before exploding early Friday has injured an estimated 1,000.

“Preliminary indications are that is was a meteorite [shower],” said one emergency official, in an NBC report. “We have information about a blast at 32,800-foot altitude. It is being verified.”

The Associated Press reports that a Russian Interior Ministry spokesman said the fireball brought an explosion and sonic boom big enough that windows broke. Some of the injuries, CBS reported, were due to the broken and flying glass.

Meteor fragments were found in the area of Chelyabinsk, located about 930 miles east of Moscow, CBS reported.

“There was panic. People had no idea what was happening. Everyone was going around to people’s houses to check if they were OK,” said one Chelyabinsk resident, in the CBS report.

On an unrelated note, NASA says on its website that Asteroid 2012 DA14, a 150-foot asteroid is expected to fly by the Earth, but miss it by 17,150 miles. The asteroid is too small to see with the naked eye even at its closest approach around 2:25 p.m. EST, over the Indian Ocean near Sumatra, AP reported.



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