400 Hurt as Meteorite Shower Hits Russia

A meteorite shower hit Russia on Friday, causing damage and panic and leaving hundreds injured.

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Maayana Miskin,

Meteorite fall over Chelyabinsk (Russia)
Meteorite fall over Chelyabinsk (Russia)
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A meteorite shower hit Russia early Friday morning. Meteorite fragments hit the Urals region, 900 miles east of Moscow, and caused damage and injury.

Pictures of the event showed a streak of smoke across the sky, followed by blasts of flame. Witnesses said they saw explosions as chunks of meteor hit.

Several hundred people were hurt. Many of the injured were struck by glass fragments when their windows shattered as the shower hit. At least three people were seriously injured.

The meteorite shower also caused local phone networks to crash and damaged buildings. A zinc factory in Chelyabinsk partially collapsed in the event.

Russian officials have sent soldiers to the affected areas.

Later in the day Asteroid 2012 DA14 is due to skim the orbit of the earth. Scientists say the Friday morning shower in Russia is not likely to be related, as the meteorites that hit Russia were travelling in a different direction than 2012 DA14.