The unpredicted meteor strike brought traffic to a halt in the industrial city of Chelyabinsk as residents poured out on the streets to watch the light show before hovering for safety as a sonic boom shattered glass and set off car alarms. The shattered glass injured most of the people.
“We have a special team working ... that is now assessing the seismic stability of buildings,” Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov told residents as he inspected the damage in the central Russian city.
“We will be especially careful about switching the gas back on,” he said in televised remarks.
A fragment of the meteor — called a meteorite once it hits the ground — was believed to have plunged into the Chelyabinsk region’s frozen Lake Chebarkul.