Russian Meteorite Wounds Hundreds!

Moment meteorite exploded in the sky above Russian town as doctors treat 950 people injured when sonic boom shattered windows

Sight: Brightly burning rocks could be seen for hundreds of kilometres as they crashed at around 9.20am local time and one bystander described it 'like a scene from the Armageddon movie'

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  • Large object flashed across the sky at 9.20am local time 
  • Pictures show a streak of smoke followed by several bright blasts of flames
  • 82 of the injured are children and two are in intensive care
  • Landed in a lake near Chebarkul, a neighbouring town 
  • 6,000 square feet of a roof at a zinc factory collapsed 
  • One local said it ‘was like a scene from the Armageddon movie’
  • Same day as Asteroid 2012 DA14, which is due to skim Earth’s orbit tonight

A terrifying meteorite shower left more than 950 people injured, buildings devastated and the mobile network wiped out when it hit Russia this morning. 

Brightly burning rocks could be seen for miles as they crashed at around 9.20am local time and one bystander described it ‘like a scene from the Armageddon movie.’ 

The meteorite is believed to have landed in a lake near Chebarkul, a town in the neighbouring Chelyabinsk region.

The city of Chelyabinsk, 900 miles east of Moscow and close to the Kazakhstan border, took the brunt of the super sonic impact. 

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Boom: Tim O'Brien, associate director of the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory, said the injuries were caused when the meteor created a sonic boom

Unexpected sight: A terrifying meteorite shower left hundreds of  people injured, buildings devastated and the mobile network wiped out when it hit Russia this morning

 Terrifying: A meteorite shower hit Russia early this morning injuring at least 100 people, including school children
 

Terrifying: Brightly burning rocks could be seen for hundreds of kilometres as they crashed at around 9.20am local time and one bystander described it ‘like a scene from the Armageddon movie’

 

 Spectacular sky: The Urals region was struck by falling meteorite fragments which fell in the city of Chelyabinsk

Spectacular sky: The Urals region was struck by falling meteorite fragments which fell in the city of Chelyabinsk, 900 miles east of Moscow and close to the Kazakhstan border

 

 
 Before and after: A video showed a street scene in Russia before the meteorite shower struck. Seconds later the street was lit up in a haze of bright white as the large fireball exploded
 

Before and after: A video showed a street scene in Russia before the meteorite shower struck. Seconds later the street was lit up in a haze of bright white as the large fireball exploded

In this photo provided by

Speed: Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said the meteorite was travelling at a speed of 30 km (19 miles) per second and that such events were hard to predict

 VIDEO  Moment Meteorite shower hits caught on camera 

 
 

The Russian Ministry of Emergencies says 950 people have been injured, 82 of them are children and two are in intensive care.

 Graphic locates Russia where fragments of a meteor fell in a thinly populated area

 

Many of the injured had bloodied faces and one child’s back was seen covered in blood. 

Tim O’Brien, associate director of the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory, said the injuries were caused when the meteor created a sonic boom.

‘This reasonably large chunk of rock was moving faster than the speed of sound, maybe 20,000 miles per hour. It made a sonic boom in the atmosphere, and that hit buildings and shattered windows. That is what seems to have caused the injuries,’ he explained. 

However, there were no reports of fatalities and it was not immediately clear if any people were struck by fragments.

A six metre wide hole was found in the ground close to Lake Chebarkul, said Russian military sources cited by RIA Novosti news agency. 

Earlier it was thought the main body of the meteorite had hit the lake. 

‘The meteorite that passed over the Chelyabinsk region fell into a body of water 1km from the city of Chebarkul,’ said a statement posted on the website of Chelyabinsk governor, Mikhail Yurevich.

According to an unconfirmed report in Russia Today, the meteorite was intercepted by Russian air defense.

 
Interception: According to an unconfirmed report in Russia Today, the meteor was intercepted by Russian air defenseInterception: According to an unconfirmed report in Russia Today, the meteor was intercepted by Russian air defense

 Shockwave: People heading to work in Chelyabinsk heard what sounded like an explosion, saw a bright light and then felt a shockwave

Shockwave: People heading to work in Chelyabinsk heard what sounded like an explosion, saw a bright light and then felt a shockwave

 

Smoking: Pictures show a streak of smoke followed by several bright blasts of flames

 Smoking: Pictures show a streak of smoke followed by several bright blasts of flames


Sight: Brightly burning rocks could be seen for hundreds of kilometres as they crashed at around 9.20am local time and one bystander described it 'like a scene from the Armageddon movie'

Coincidence: Early indications are that the shower is unrelated to Asteroid 2012 DA14, which is due to skim the orbit of the Earth later today

epa03584980 The vapour

 

High in the sky: The vapour trail of a falling meteorite is seen in the sky over the city of Chelyabinsk

The strike came on the same day that Asteroid 2012 DA14 is due to skim the orbit of the Earth tonight. 

But astronomers say that it is probably just a coincidence –  Dr Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society told MailOnline: ‘As I understand it, the Russian meteorite(s) were travelling from east to west whereas 2012 DA14 will be travelling from north to south.’

Chelyabinsk residents reported shaking ground, windows being shattered and car alarms being set off during the shower.

Pictures show a streak of smoke followed by several bright blasts of flames and eyewitnesses spoke of several devastating explosions.

Mobile phones are only working intermittently and there were localised power cuts.

According to RT.com, the Urals regional centre of the Emergency Ministry claimed it sent out a mass text message warning residents about a possible meteorite shower.

Injured: A man identifying himself as Viktor poses for a photograph after receiving treatment for injuries after the meteorite shower hit the Russian region

Injured: A man identifying himself as Viktor poses for a photograph after receiving treatment for injuries after the meteorite shower hit the Russian region

 edical treatment: Many injured had bloodied faces from being hit by shards of glass broken in the explosions

Medical treatment: Many injured had bloodied faces from being hit by shards of glass broken in the explosions

e have been no reports of fatalities

Toll: Hundreds of people were injured, but there have been no reports of fatalities

Fear: First reports suggested that there had been a plane crash but officials confirmed it was one or more meteorites falling to Earth

Fear: First reports suggested that there had been a plane crash but officials confirmed it was one or more meteorites falling to Earth

 Sonic boom: Tim O'Brien, associate director of the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory, said the injuries were caused when the meteor created a sonic boom

Sonic boom: Tim O’Brien, associate director of the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory, said the injuries were caused when the meteor created a sonic boom causing windows to shatter

But eyewitnesses said they either never received it, or got the message after the explosion had already occurred.

The emergencies ministry said that 10,000 rescue workers had been dispatched to help the injured and locate those needing help.

The stadium of Chelyabinsk’s Traktor ice hockey side was hit and state television showed a part of the roof and a wall shorn off a brick zinc factory in the city. 

All schools and kindergartens were closed in Chelyabinsk region today.

  

Explosion: Eyewitnesses spoke of several devastating explosions rocking buildings and shattering glass

Explosion: Eyewitnesses spoke of several devastating explosions rocking buildings and shattering glass

 

 Damaged: A zinc factory in Chelyabinsk was seen with a partially collapsed roof and walls in the morning after meteor pieces rained on the town

 Damaged: A zinc factory in Chelyabinsk was seen with a partially collapsed roof and walls in the morning after meteor pieces rained on the town

 Moment of impact: A pair, seen on CCTV, cower from the impact as the window near them explodes

Moment of impact: A pair, seen on CCTV, cower from the impact as the window near them explodes

Injured: Four schoolchildren were known to have been injured from broken glass

Injured: Four schoolchildren were known to have been injured from broken glass

 Unexpected: Eyewitnesses spoke of several devastating explosions rocking buildings and shattering glass

Unexpected: Eyewitnesses spoke of several devastating explosions rocking buildings and shattering glass

The Russian Academy of Sciences is estimating the meteor weighed about 10 tons. 

The academy said in a statement hours fall that the meteor entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of at least 54,000 kph (33,000 mph) and shattered about 30-50 kilometres (18-32 miles) above ground.

One eyewitness Gulnara Dudka, in her 20s, gave a dramatic account of the meteorite, telling how she feared ‘doomsday’ had arrived, reported the Siberian Times.

‘What was it? People said it was a plane that fell and exploded,’ she said. 

‘I saw a bright blast from behind me. Everything was lit up, very bright light. 

‘It was like from Armageddon movie when the meteorite rain started, I really thought it was like doomsday. 

‘It was so scary especially the explosion. It was very strong. I am speechless. It was so strong. My camera couldn’t reproduce how strong the bang was.’

‘I was sitting at home and typing something on my computer. Suddenly there was a huge bright flash,’ said Konstantin Zharinov, an historian and journalist from Chelyabinsk.

‘At first I thought something happened at my neighbours place but a minute later the sound of the explosion came.’

He said ‘many lost their windows, glass is everywhere in the streets’.

Children were left panic-stricken as windows smashed at School Number 15 in Chelyabinsk.

‘First there was an unreal light that lit up all the classrooms on the right side of the school. That kind of light doesn’t happen in life, only at the end of the world, then a trail appeared like from a plane but only 10 times bigger,’ said teacher Valentina Nikolayeva.

Residents in one 19 storey block reported feeling the shockwaves of the explosions.

The sounds of car alarms and breaking windows could be heard in the area, said a witness, and there were reports that the internet and mobile networks were temporarily down.

The meteorite flew across the Russian sky from the direction of Kazakhstan, its trajectory going over southern Siberia, above the Tyumen, Kurgan and Sverdlovsk regions, said the head of the Urals regional branch of the Emergencies Ministry press service, Vadim Grebennikov.

VIDEO: Dramatic moment workers run for cover as meteorite strikes 

 

  

The event has been well-documented – many drivers in Russia have video recorders fitted in their cars to record any accident or disputes.  

Within an hour of the explosion, footage from these was uploaded to YouTube showing the fireball crashing to the ground.

Officials stressed that radiation levels remained normal amid fears that one of dozens of nuclear facilities in the region could have been hit. 

‘All Rosatom enterprises located in the Urals region — including the Mayak complex — are working as normal,’ an unnamed Rosatom spokesman told Interfax.

 Hurt: A school in Chelyabinsk took a fair brunt of the explosion - four students were injured

Hurt: A school in Chelyabinsk took a fair brunt of the explosion – four students were injured

Ruined: The sounds of car alarms and breaking windows could be heard in the area, said a witness, and there were reports that the internet and mobile networks were temporarily down

Ruined: The sounds of car alarms and breaking windows could be heard in the area, said a witness, and there were reports that the internet and mobile networks were temporarily down

 Damaged: The emergencies ministry said that 20,000 rescue workers had been dispatched to help the injured and locate those needing help

Damaged: The emergencies ministry said that 20,000 rescue workers had been dispatched to help the injured and locate those needing help

 

Clear up: A man removes shards of glass from the frame of a broken window - most of the injuries were from glass

Clear up: A man removes shards of glass from the frame of a broken window – most of the injuries were from glass

 Blown out: A building damaged by the shockwave from the meteorite
 

Blown out: A building damaged by the shockwave from the meteorite

Concern focused on nuclear warehouses of the Defense Ministry in Trekhgorny, in the South Urals, but officials insisted that there was no damage.

Russian news reports noted that the meteor hit less than a day before the asteroid 2012 DA14 is to make the closest recorded pass of an asteroid – about 17,150 miles (28,000 kilometers).

But the European Space Agency, in a post on its Twitter account, said its experts had determined there was no connection.

Small pieces of space debris – usually parts of comets or asteroids – that are on a collision course with the Earth are called meteoroids.

Surprise: Shocked residents look up in the sky with horror

Surprise: Shocked residents look up in the sky with horror 

 
 Aftermath: People look at damage to a shop following the meteor shower
 

Aftermath: People look at damage to a shop following the meteor shower

Shattered: The city of Chelyabinsk, 900 miles east of Moscow and close to the Kazakhstan border, took the brunt of the impact

Shattered: The city of Chelyabinsk, 900 miles east of Moscow and close to the Kazakhstan border, took the brunt of the impact

When meteoroids enter the Earth’s atmosphere they are called meteors. 

Most meteors burn up in the atmosphere, but if they survive the frictional heating and strike the surface of the Earth they are called meteorites.

The dramatic events prompted an array of reactions from prominent Russian political figures.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, speaking at an economic forum in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, said the meteor could be a symbol for the forum, showing that ‘not only the economy is vulnerable, but the whole planet.’

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the nationalist leader noted for vehement statements, said ‘It’s not meteors falling, it’s the test of a new weapon by the Americans,’ the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

‘At the moment we are checking the territories and counting how many towns and settlements suffered from it.

‘Preliminary information says the meteorite did not fall down but exploded in the air. ‘

Radiation levels were normal, said officials.

Destroyed: The building of the local zinc plant badly damaged by a shockwave from a meteorite impact

Destroyed: The building of the local zinc plant badly damaged by a shockwave from a meteorite impact

 

 Impact: Small pieces of space debris - usually parts of comets or asteroids - that are on a collision course with the Earth are called meteoroids

 

Impact: Small pieces of space debris – usually parts of comets or asteroids – that are on a collision course with the Earth are called meteoroids

 

Getting to work: Rescue servicemen work at the site of a collapsed wall and roof of the concentrate warehouse of the zinc plant in Chelyabinsk

  Getting to work: Rescue servicemen work at the site of a collapsed wall and roof of the concentrate warehouse of the zinc plant in Chelyabinsk

HALF A MILLION KILOMETRES AWAY, ANOTHER ASTEROID IS COMING… 

 

Asteroid

At first glance it may seem a more than a coincidence that this meteorite shower has struck Earth just hours before asteroid 2012 DA14 is due to skim past our planet tonight. 

Yet astronomers say that a coincidence is all it is.

Dr Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society told MailOnline: ‘As I understand it, the Russian meteorite(s) were travelling from east to west whereas 2012 DA14 will be travelling from north to south.

‘In any case with a 12 hour time difference, the objects are at least half a million km apart, so unrelated.’ 

His view was backed up by Dr Phil Plait on his Bad Astronomy blog for Slate  and the European Space Agency.

The ESA wrote on Twitter (@esaoperations): ‘ESA experts at #ESOC confirm *no* link between #meteor incidents in #Russia & #Asteroid #2012DA14 Earth flyby tonite #SSA #NEO.’

Dr Massey added: ‘So, although the incident in Russia is dramatic and the reports of injuries are unprecedented and awful – there are very few historic reports of people being hurt as a result of meteorites – it doesn’t seem to be at all relevant to tonight’s close asteroid flyby.’

What will happen tonight? 

Just before 7.30pm today, a 150ft wide chunk of space rock will whizz past us in the closest shave since records began.

If it hit the planet, it could wipe out a city the size of London and do as much damage as 1,000 of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima.

Nasa has stressed that ‘no Earth impact is possible’ – but scientists say there is a small chance that TV signals may be affected.

The asteroid will cut through the orbit of some satellites used for weather forecasting and for satellite phones and television.

Mobile phones won’t be affected as they rely on land-based masts and cables.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 was discovered last year by a Spanish dentist turned amateur astronomer and has been closely tracked ever since.

Hurtling through space at speeds of five miles a second, eight times as fast as a speeding bullet, it will come within 17,000 miles of Earth at 7.24pm tomorrow.

Astronomy expert Daniel Brown, of Nottingham Trent University, said: ‘In astronomical terms, that’s very close.’

Although the asteroid won’t be visible with the naked eye, it should be possible to see it with binoculars.

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8 comments

  1. Aristotle

    What about the volcanic explosion on the island of Thera in 1400BC, which destroyed Crete together with the Minoan civilisation, and affected harvests worldwide from the ash darkening the sky?

    Disasters have always been damaging the world of human beings.

    • Gordon King

      But not in the intensity and not all of the things Jesus told us would happen all at the same time! Read Matthew 24. I am merely informing people of what is going on in the world today. Many people do not read the news. They are not aware of what is going on in the world. I have traveled the world. I have been to third world countries. I know what is happening. God is speaking to me. He is giving me vision. You can believe or choose not to. That is your decision. I am warning you, as God commanded me to do. Will you listen to God? Pray about it. I am not doing what I do out of my own volition, but through the power of the Holy Spirit! Read the scripture and decide for yourself. Am I making these things up? I think not.

    • Gordon King

      If you would like to quote scripture to make a point fine. Healthy discussion is good. However, if you are trying to condemn me for my position, then you must contend with the Lord. For I am following the words of God Almighty. I am led by the Spirit of God. If you can prove to me that I am incorrect in my postings or position then I will be the first to admit it. With that being said, I am here only to please God, not man. If I am making God happy and pleased with my work for him, then I will rejoice. If I do not make man happy, yet I am pleasing in the eyes of God, then so be it. That is my desire.

      • Aristotle

        In verse 2 of Matthew 24, Jesus responds to a question about the architecture of the temple, and draws his disciples attention to the huge stones of which the temple is built. He says, “Truth I tell you that not one stone here will be left upon another stone. Each stone will be disintegrated!”

        Now that Jerusalem is surrounded by militant groups threatening even nuclear weapons, this “disintegration of the stones” of the temple, which remains, could happen in our lifetime.

        In vv 6-8, he is saying that the end is beyond all that is going to happen. “You are going to hear about wars and threats of war, but make certain you are not alarmed. All this must happen but the end is beyond it. The end, ie his Second Coming, will occur after nation rising up against nation and kingdom against kingdom. “There will be famines (such as the Black Death in 1347) and earthquakes in many places. All these things are the most prominent of hardships”. But Jesus says that the end is beyond all this.

        During that time, he says, during the time of wars and rumours of war (such as the Romans destroying the temple in Jerusalem in AD70), during the time between his crucifixion and the end of wars and rumours of wars, “the kindness of the majority will grow cold because of increasing unrighteousness”.

        So from the time he said this, whilst he was on earth, human kindness has been getting colder because of increasing unrighteousness. This is not a new phenomenon for the 21st century but has been going on since the first century.

        In v 15, Jesus says, “When you see what is greatly disliked and what is being depopulated, the Abomination of Desolation made known through the prophet Daniel, when you see it established in holy land then…” flee, escape. This is Israel, which Christ describes as the Abomination of Desolation. He tells those of us, who are alive at that time, to flee from Israel because Jerusalem and the remaining stones of the old temple are going to be disintegrated in some cataclysm for Israel.

        In v 21, he says that, at that time, “There will be Great Distress to a degree that has not happened since the creation of the world so far, nor could have happened.

        “Unless those days were shortened, no human flesh would remain alive! On account of the Choice, however, those days will be cut short.”

        Gordon, I’m sure that you will agree that I have quoted Scripture to make a point. As you say, healthy discussion is good.

        I, too, love the Lord and the Heavenly Father and reverence them and his holy Word.

      • Gordon King

        I do not see what your point is? What are you trying to say? You quote scripture, but do not make a point? I am not sure what you mean? Please explain the point you are trying to make?

  2. Anonymous

    ALL I HAVE TO SAY BELIVE AND TRUST IN GOD’AND STOP KILLING WHAT EVER Y0U DO OVER THERE A ND PRAY COME TO JESUS HE WAITING FOR YOU TO RECEIVE HIM IN YOUR LIFE.WAKE UP RUSSIA AND THE WHOLE WORLD NEEDS TO WAKE UP .LOVE EVERYONE TURN AROUND A SERVE HIM JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOR

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