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Photos And Video: Meteorite Hits Central Russia

The trail of a falling object is seen above the Urals city of Chelyabinsk February 15, 2013, in this picture provided by www.chelyabinsk.ru. About 400 people were injured when a meteorite shot across the sky in central Russia on Friday sending fireballs crashing to Earth, smashing windows and setting off car alarms. REUTERS/www.chelyabinsk.ru/Handout (RUSSIA - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. MANDATORY CREDIT. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

The trail of a falling object is seen above the Urals city of Chelyabinsk February 15, 2013, in this picture provided by http://www.chelyabinsk.ru. About 400 people were injured when a meteorite shot across the sky in central Russia on Friday sending fireballs crashing to Earth, smashing windows and setting off car alarms. REUTERS/www.chelyabinsk.ru/Handout

Something like a bright fireball shot across the sky and exploded in Chelyabinsk, central Russia at 9.20 a.m. (12:20 a.m. ET) on Friday injuring more than 500 people.

(Please click here for updated news and more photos)

It left a long white trail in its wake which could be seen as far as 200 km (125 miles) away in Yekaterinburg.

According to a Reuters correspondent, people going to work in Chelyabinsk heard a loud sound like an explosion, saw a bright light and then felt a shockwave in the industrial city 1,500 km (950 miles) east of Moscow.

A wall was damaged at the Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant, mobile phone networks were interrupted and on Chelyabinsk’s central Lenin Street, windows were shattered and some of the frames of shop fronts buckled.

The Emergencies Ministry said that it was a “meteor shower in the form of fireballs” and the Interior Ministry said that the loud explosion sound was a sonic boom caused by the meteorite explosion.

It said that the background radiation levels were normal so people should not panic.

(For more videos, please click Videos Of Meteor Explodes Over Russia)

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. 

(Please click the photos for larger images)

Video:

Please click “Meteorite hits central Russia, 400 hurt” for another video.