(NBC News) A huge meteorite flared through the skies over Russia's Chelyabinsk region early Friday, triggering a powerful shock wave that injured nearly a thousand people, blew out windows and reportedly caused the roof of a factory to collapse.
According to a report from NBC News:
Multiple amateur videos posted online showed the meteor’s flaring arc – called a bolide by scientists – cross the western Siberia sky. Others from the scene included the sound of a loud boom, followed by a cacophony of car alarms. One video showed the hurried evacuation of an office building in Chelyabinsk.
“There was panic. People had no idea what was happening. Everyone was going around to people’s houses to check if they were OK,” Chelyabinsk resident Sergey Hametov told The Associated Press. “We saw a big burst of light then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud thundering sound.”
Another resident described the meteorite's “flash."
"I was standing at a bus stop, seeing off my girlfriend," Andrei, a local resident who did not give his second name, told Reuters. "Then there was a flash and I saw a trail of smoke across the sky and felt a shock wave that smashed windows."
Initial estimates put the number of injured around 500, with close to 100 people hospitalized. Chelyabinsk health official Marina Moskvicheva said as many as 985 people had requested medical assistance in the city, many for injuries caused by flying glass.