YouTube Russia Meteor Video: Watch 11-Ton Meteor Hitting Russia
An 11-ton meteor fell in Russia Friday, injuring 900 people in the Ural Mountains (Chelyabinsk region, about 930 miles east of Moscow) as it entered the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of at least 33,000 mph — shattering about 18-32 miles above ground.
The impact caused explosions that shattered glass over the area, sending at least 900 people to the hospital — 34 of whom were admitted.
"There was panic. People had no idea what was happening. Everyone was going around to people's houses to check if they were OK," said Sergey Hametov, a resident of the affected region (other witnesses described "a big burst of light" and "a loud thundering sound").
According to the ITAR-Tass news agency, some fragments fell in a reservoir outside the town of Cherbakul, the regional governor's office said. The agency also cited military spokesman Yarslavl Roshupkin as saying that a 20-foot-wide crater was found in the same area — while Interior Ministry spokesman Vadim Kolesnikov said that about 6,000 square feet of a roof at a zinc factory had collapsed (it's not clear if the event was a meteor shower or a single meteor).
The unexpected meteor hit the day before 150-feet Asteroid 2012 DA14 is scheduled to flyby the Earth, missing our planet by 17,150 miles.