A massive meteor shower slammed into Earth Friday morning near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, located about 1,000 miles east of Moscow in the Ural Mountains.
The number of injured continues to rise as new reports come in from across a wide area.
As many as 950 people have sought medical help, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. Deputy Health Minister Igor Kagramanyan said 571 people had sought medical help, with 34 of them hospitalized, according to state-news agency Itar-Tass.
Reports conflicted on what happened in the clear skies. A spokeswoman for the emergency ministry, Irina Rossius, said there was a meteor shower, but another ministry spokeswoman, Elena Smirnikh, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying it was a single meteorite.
Amateur video broadcast on Russian television showed an object speeding across the sky about 9.20am local time, leaving a thick white trail and an intense flash.
About 270 buildings have sustained damage -- mostly broken glass -- as a result of the shock waves caused by the blast, said Vladimir Stepanov, of the National Center for Emergency Situations at the Russian Interior Ministry. Hospitals, kindergartens and schools are among those affected, he said. The meteor knocked out cell phone networks, but electricity and water supplies were not affected.
One scientist told Russian television the meteor was a big one, weighing perhaps tens of tons, but stressed that it was not related to the asteroid, 2012 DA14, that is expected to buzz close to Earth later today.