CHELYABINSK, RUSSIA - People heard what sounded like an explosion before being blinded by a bright light and blown backwards by a shockwave this Friday morning in central Russia. According to a Reuter's correspondent in the city, which lies 950 miles east of Moscow. The meteor streaked across the sky, raining deadly fireballs over the area as it exploded, blowing out windows and injuring at least 1,200 people.
The flaming meteor was traveling at a speed of 19 miles per second, according to Roscosmos, a Russian space agency. The meteor blazed across the horizon, leaving behind a long, white trail that could be seen 125 miles in either direction. "I felt like I was blinded by headlights."
"I was driving to work, it was quite dark, but it suddenly became as bright as if it were day," said Viktor Prokofiev, a 36 year-old reside of Yekaterinburg in the Urals Mountains.
The meteor weight an estimated ten tons and may have been made of iron as it entered Earth's atmosphere and broke apart 19-31 miles above ground, according to Russia's Academy of Sciences.
No deaths have been reported, but the Emergencies Ministry has sent 20,000 rescue and clean-up workers to the region. The Interior Ministry has tallied 1,200 people as injured, including 200 children; most of these injuries were sustained by flying glass as the shockwave caused windows to explode.
NASA says the Russian Meteor is not related to Asteroid 2012 DA14's travel through space, as the asteroid is approaching from the direction of the South Pole, while the Russian meteor landed in the Northern hemisphere.