A Russian health official says nearly 1,000 people have sought help for injuries after a meteor streaked through the sky and exploded Friday over Russia’s Ural Mountains with the power of an atomic bomb.
The sonic blast from the hurtling space rock shattered countless windows and deeply frightened thousands, with some elderly women declaring the world was coming to an end.
The meteor — estimated to be about 10 tons — entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of at least 33,000 mph and shattered about 18-32 miles above the ground, the Russian Academy of Sciences said in a statement. It released the energy of several kilotons above the Chelyabinsk region, the academy said.
Chelyabinsk health chief Marina Moskvicheva, said Friday that 985 people in her city had asked for medical assistance. The Interfax news agency quoted her as saying 43 were hospitalized.