15 February 2013, 09:57

What happened over the Urals region was not a meteor shower, it was a meteorite - spokesperson (VIDEO)

What happened over the  Urals region was not  a meteor shower, it was a  meteorite - spokesperson (VIDEO)

A meteorite was observed in the sky over Russia's Urals region, Emergency Situations Ministry spokesperson Yelena Smirnykh told Interfax.

"What happened over the Urals region was not a meteor shower, as was reported earlier. It was a meteorite, which burned up as it passed through the lower layers of the Earth atmosphere. However, it triggered an impact wave, which smashed windows in several houses in the region," she said.

Four people were reportedly injured by falling glass, she said. Radiation levels remain normal in the area, the spokesperson said.

"There has been no increase in radiation levels. They remain normal. The meteorite did not effect them," Smirnykh said.

The accident did not cause any disruption to mobile network operations in the region.

Meteorite pieces are not expected to actually fall to the Earth. However, regional emergency services have been put on high alert, the spokesperson said. 

Meteorite falls 80 kilometers from Satka town in Russia's Chelyabinsk region 

Some people inside the High School No. 130 building in the Chelyabinsk region reportedly sustained minor injuries as several windows were smashed as a result of Friday's meteorite fall, an Interior Ministry spokesman told Interfax.

The meteorite fell in the Chelyabinsk region's Satka district, in an area located around 80 kilometers from the district's administrative center, the spokesman said.

"Windows were broken in many houses in Satka, as well as buildings in Chelyabinsk facing the crash site," he said.

Meteorite crash in Russia: explosions in Chelyabinsk (VIDEO)

A series of explosions in the skies of Russia’s Urals region, reportedly caused by a meteor shower, has sparked panic in three major cities. Witnesses said that houses shuddered, windows were blown out and cellphones stopped working. 

Atmospheric phenomena have been registered in the cities of Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg and Tyumen.

In Chelyabinsk, witnesses said the explosion was so loud that it resembled an earthquake and thunder at the same time, and that there were huge trails of smoke across the sky. Others reported seeing burning objects fall to earth.

Office buildings in downtown Chelyabinsk are being evacuated. The regional Emergency Ministry said the phenomenon was a meteorite shower, but locals have speculated that it was a military fighter jet crash or a missile explosion.

“According to preliminary data, the flashes seen over the Urals were caused by [a] meteorite shower," the Emergency Ministry told Itar-Tass news agency.

Voice of Russia, RT, Interfax

 

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