Russian Meteorite: 500 People Injured After 10-Ton Space Rock Breaks Apart, Falls Into Western Siberia (PHOTOS/ VIDEO)

Feb 15, 2013 09:01 AM EST | Matt Mercuro

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Meteor

A meteor streaks past stars in the night sky over the village of Kuklici. (Photo : Reuters)

A meteor that weighed 10 tons crashed going "supersonic speed" near Russia's Ural Mountains this week, setting off blasts that injured approximately 500 people according to ABC.

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The Russian Academy of Sciences stated the meteor entered the earth's atmosphere going at a speed of at least 33,000 mph, causing shock waves before shattering. People who happened to be traveling by or using a video camera at the time were able to document the occurrence for the whole world to see.

"We saw a big burst of light then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud thundering sound," he told the Associated Press.


Officials say that locals thought they were being attacked, and almost 20,000 troops were called to the scene according to ABC.

"If the reports of ground damage can be verified, it might suggest an object whose original size was several meters in extent before entering the atmosphere, fragmenting and exploding due to the unequal pressure on the leading side vs. the trailing side (it pancaked and exploded)," Yeoman said in an email to The Associated Press.

Some fragments fell in a reservoir outside the town of Cherbakul, the regional governor's office stated to ABC News. It's currently unknown if any people were struck by fragments. Approximately 34 people were hospitalized, most of the injures coming from broken glass which shattered from a zinc factory nearby.

Many prominent Russian polictical figures have had their own theory relating to what happened. 

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

For the time being, Russia, nor the U.S. has yet to discover technology capable of shooting down meteors or asteroids according to the Associated Press.

 

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