Explosions and bright flashes in the sky over several locations in Russias Urals region, has sparked fears of a UFO crash, according to RT news.
The number of people injured by the blast above the mountain range soared to “nearly 1,000,” according to the Associated Press.
The crash — felt in Chelyabinsk, Tyumen and Sverdlovsk and elsewhere — resembled an earthquake, witnesses report.
There were conflicting reports. The Interfax news agency described the event as a meteor shower, a spokeswoman for Russias Emergency Ministry, told the AP. But the Interfax news agency described the incident as a single meteorite.”
It was definitely not a plane,” an emergency official told Reuters. “We are gathering the bits of information and have no data on the casualties so far.”
RT quotes witnesses who say the blast and unusual spectacle overhead had some residents fearing a UFO.“
My windows were not smashed, but I first thought that my house is being dismantled, then I thought it was a UFO, and my eventual thought was an earthquake,” Bukreeva Olga wrote on Twitter, according to the news site.
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Russia starts cleanup after meteor strike
Chelyabinsk, Russia (CNN) — A day after a spectacular meteor blast shook Russia’s Urals region, the cleanup operation got under way Saturday in the hard-hit Russian city of Chelyabinsk.
Although some buildings were unscathed when sonic waves from the Friday morning explosion reverberated through the region, others lost some or most windows or had walls come tumbling down.
More than 1,000 people were injured, including more than 200 children, according to news reports. Many of them were hit by flying glass.
Most of those hurt were in the Chelyabinsk region; the majority of injuries are not thought to be serious.
However, one woman was flown to Moscow to be treated for a spinal injury resulting from the shock wave from the blast, state media reported. About 50 people were still hospitalized Saturday.
Altogether, more than 4,000 buildings, mostly apartment blocks, were damaged and 200,000 square kilometers (77,220 square miles) of glass were broken, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited the Chelyabinsk regional emergencies ministry as saying Saturday.
Local officials have estimated the damage at more than 1 billion rubles (more than $33 million), RIA Novosti said. Chelyabinsk Gov. Mikhail Yurevich promised compensation to all those affected, the official Itar-Tass news agency said.
With temperatures dipping well below freezing at night, the need to fix windows left gaping by the blast is urgent.
The city of Chelyabinsk was functioning normally Saturday as the repair work began.
Workers swept up broken glass, boarded up holes and began fitting new panes of glass in some buildings.
Interesting that this meteor hits and a lightning bolt also hits the Vatican soon after the Pope resigns. Is the spirit realm trying to say something?
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