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Falling Meteor Rocks Russia, Causing Injuries to 500 People

It may have looked like a scene out of a sci-fi movie, but a meteor racing across the sky in Russia had people scared out of their wits Friday morning.

The meteor, which was spotted over the Ural Mountains, caused as series of explosions and was responsible for injuring more than 500 people, several of which were hurt by broken glass.

One man in the Chelyabinsk region described the scene:

There was panic. People had no idea what was happening….We saw a big burst of light then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud thundering sound.”

The smoke that ensued could be seen 125 miles away. Some pieces of the meteor fell into a reservoir outside of the town of Cherbakul, although it’s not known if anyone was hit by them.

It’s not unusual for meteors to create loud sounds when they enter Earth’s atmosphere, but the injuries that occurred on Friday are not common. One government spokesman estimated there were more than 400 people hurt, with at least three needing to go into the hospital. A lot of the injuries were caused by broken glass.

One report claims there was only one meteor involved, while another says it was a meteor shower.

A government official said Friday’s event was a rarity and could possibly have something to do with an asteroid that’s scheduled to pass Earth this weekend some 17,000 miles away. Whatever the reason, this meteor becomes the latest to fall on Earth, joining a plentiful bunch.

[Reuters]

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