A meteorite crash in Russia on Friday morning has injured up to 250 people, three of them critically, according to the latest update from Russia at 8:03 GMT. Only 30 minutes earlier, the number of people seeking medical attention had only been reported as 150 people. A Breaking News Live Update report from RT on Feb. 15, 2013, states that the meteorite crash in Russia damaged buildings in six cities.
“A bright flash was seen in the Chelyabinsk, Tyumen and Sverdlovsk regions, Russia’s Republic of Bashkiria and in northern Kazakhstan.”
According to RT’s article "‘Shock and frustration’: Locals report on meteorite crash in Russian Urals,” eye witness accounts of the meteorite falling in Russia describe hearing explosions, blown-out windows, sounding emergency alarms, and shaking buildings.
“The most unusual morning ever – to wake up from the wind and the rumble, to yell hysterically while all the family is running around shocked. … I am still young, I don’t want to die! … It is a nightmare… I am still shaking and sobbing periodically.”
Locals in some areas of Chelyabinsk first reported about the falling meteorite in Russia at 9:30 a.m. (3:30 GMT). Since it was unclear at first what had caused the explosion and shaking buildings in Russia’s Urals region, locals relied on Twitter messages to check on each other and to eventually find out that the cause of the “nightmare” was a fallen meteorite.
“Mobile connections shut down after a meteorite reportedly crashed into an antenna. For many people, the Internet has become the only way to make sure that their friends and family are fine.”
According to Russia’s Emergency Ministry, the effects felt by the locals was due to a shower of meteorite debris.
According to unconfirmed reports, however, “a meteorite was shot down by Russian air defenses. Multiple dashboard videos appeared online, showing huge fireballs flying over buildings and exploding with a strong blast. A local zinc factory was the worst-hit, with some of its walls collapsed.”
A 8:10 a.m. GMT, an RT update reports that Russian aerospace scientist Oleg Malkov at Moscow State University told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper that the meteorite had not been detected by space scanners because of its position in the sky in relationship to the Sun.
Oleg Malkov also stated that Friday’s falling meteorite is not connected to the 2012 DA14 asteroid that is approaching Earth. 2012 DA14 is expected to pass the Earth at a distance of about 17,200 miles (which is closer than the moon) around 11:24 a.m. PST on Friday morning. 2012 DA14 is about half the size of a football field or the size of an apartment building and is reportedly passing just inside the orbit of communications satellites.
According to a Washington Post article on Feb. 14, 2013, “Scientists point out that we have never detected an asteroid this large passing so close to our planet. The key word here is ‘detected.’ Astronomers have honed their ability to see things that just a few decades ago would have been invisible. The universe keeps coming into focus, and it’s messier out there than the ancient stargazers could have imagined.”
The locals who experienced the meteorite crash in Russia on Friday morning definitely agree. This falling meteorite was something that we could have never imagined. Let's keep 2012 DA14 where it belongs, -- in space.