Meteorite explosion over Russia injures nearly 1,000

Updated Feb 18, 2013

Russian meteor

A meteor weighing an estimated 10 tons shattered between 18 and 32 miles above the Chelyabinsk region and Russia’s Ural Mountains Friday, generating blasts that injured more than 750 people, the Associated Press reports.

The meteor entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of at least 33,000 miles per hour, creating a bright burst of light and a loud sonic boom before shattering. The meteor caused explosions that broke glass over a wide area, the AP reports and of the 500 people injured, 43 were hospitalized.

A 20-foot-wide crater was found, likely caused by one of the fragments from the meteor’s explosion. Meteors entering the atmosphere are not a rare occurrence, but the scale of injuries reported Friday are.

The news comes less than a day before an asteroid is expected to pass close by Earth — an estimated 17,200 miles away. As the Washington Post reported, it poses no hazard.

Be sure to check out videos of the meteor below (you’ll need to keep scrolling). The first two show it entering the atmosphere and the third give you a sense of the sound of the blast.

[youtube sl_RknL9G-Q nolink]

[youtube _gUsiR8ZwME nolink]

[youtube b0cRHsApzt8 nolink]