MOSCOW, February 18 (RIA Novosti) – Police in Russia’s Chelyabinsk Region said Monday they are verifying all online offers regarding the sale of meteorite fragments, which struck the area Friday, hurting more than a thousand people and damaging thousands of buildings.
“Information posted online about the sale of meteorite fragments is being thoroughly checked,” said Anzhelika Chirikova, head of the regional police department’s press service, adding that the department has created a task force “that is monitoring the situation 24 hours a day.”
Scientists found pieces of the meteorite over the weekend in Lake Chebarkul, where the impact of the falling fireball made a giant hole in the ice.
Chirikova said police were still guarding the lake area, but specialists from the Emergencies Ministry had left.
Of the 52 people hospitalized in the region, only 19 now remain in local hospitals, the Chelyabinsk city administration said Monday on its website.
Regional emergencies officials said that, as of Monday morning, windows had been repaired in more than 3,500 buildings of 4,715 where they had been smashed by the meteorite’s atomic-bomb-like impact. The overwhelming majority of the damaged buildings, 3,724, are residential and home to some 100,000 families, the officials said.
Updated on 19.02.13 to correct spokeswoman's name from Andzhela to Anzhelika.