Meteor strike in Russia hurts at least 950 people
MOSCOW (AFP) - A plunging meteor exploded with a blinding flash above central Russia on Friday, setting off a shockwave that shattered windows and hurt at least 950 people in an event unprecedented in modern times.
The extraordinary event brought morning traffic to a sudden halt in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk as shocked drivers stopped to watch the falling meteor partially burning up in the lower atmosphere and light up the sky.
Chelyabinsk regional governor Mikhail Yurevich, quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency, said that two-thirds of the injuries were light wounds from pieces of glass and other materials.
It appeared the meteor's entry into the atmosphere was not linked to the asteroid 2012 DA 14 which is expected to pass about 17,200 miles (27,000 kilometres) above the Earth later on Friday in an unusually close approach.