A meteor has crashed in the Ural Mountains of Russia and injured over 950 people as the shockwave caused by the impact smashed windows and damaged buildings.

Most people escaped with cuts and bruises but nearly 50 people had to be admitted to hospital.

The meteor crashed on Friday morning (15th February). The sky was clear and witnesses have described it as a fireball shooting through the sky before loud bangs could be heard.

Nearly 50 people had to be admitted to hospital.

The phenomenon has been described as ‘a cosmic coincidence’ and experts have insisted that it was not related to the asteroid 2012DA14 which passed above the Earth in an unusually close distance.

The asteroid 2012DA14 was being monitored and experts were expecting its close approach. It passed the Earth after the meteor crash at a distance of only 17,200 miles.

The phenomenon has been described as ‘a cosmic coincidence’.

The fall of such a large meteor is very rare and officials commented that it was lucky the meteor burned up in the lower atmosphere and that there were relatively few casualties.

Most injuries were sustained through the glass shattering when the shockwave hit buildings, as people moved to the windows to watch the spectacle as it lit up the sky.

The shockwave was felt throughout the Urals region of Chelyabinsk with the city’s ministers reporting damage to almost 300 buildings including schools and hospitals.

The fall of such a large meteor is very rare.

Thankfully there were no reports of injuries being sustained from falling debris and officials are yet to confirm whether any meteorite fragments made contact with the earth.

However, Russian governors have reported that a crater has been found on the shore of a lake 1km outside of the city of Chebarkul which is thought to be the impact site, and debris has also been reported to have fallen in areas of Siberia.

Scientists have estimated that the meteor weighed almost 10 tonnes and probably entered the atmosphere at staggering speeds of over 33,000mph.

Alice Burke

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Image: tonynetone via Flickr

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