A meteor exploded near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on Friday morning. Our Observer, who lives there, tells us what he saw.
Officials say the meteor exploded in the sky, resulting in debris scattering down to the earth. According to local authorities, nearly 1,000 people have sought medical attention for minor injuries, and at least 40 have been hospitalized.
This video, recorded from a car’s dashboard camera, shows a meteorite shooting across the sky.
Michael Garnett is a Canadian hockey player currently living in Chelyabinsk:
I was lying in bed half-asleep, just hitting the snooze button on my phone, when all of a sudden I heard a huge bang. It felt like something had hit my building – a bomb or a plane, I had no idea. I’m way up on the 23rd floor, so when I got up I could feel the building swaying a little bit. The light fixtures in my apartment were swinging from the ceiling, and outside, car alarms were going off. I immediately grabbed the phone to call one of my team mates, who lives in the same building, but the phone was down.
I went to the window and saw that this giant streak had crossed the sky. I thought that whatever this airborne thing was, it must have hit my building. But I went downstairs and walked around the building and saw nothing – some broken glass from windows that had exploded, but nothing else. It was only when I went on Twitter that I started to see people posting videos of what was pretty clearly a meteor, and I saw confirmation of this on TV about an hour later, once I was at practice.
Driving home from practice I noticed lots of shattered windows, but other than that, everything has kept functioning as normal. Stores are open, people are going about their business – but there’s this strange vibe, as people here are pretty superstitious and a lot of them are asking, why would this have happened here? And reports of another asteroid
heading toward earth have them a little rattled. But most people are just glad it was nothing more serious, and that those who were injured seem mostly to have had cuts and bruises resulting from the shockwave.
The loud explosion described by our Observer can be heard in this video.
The impact wave caused windows to shatter in many buildings, including the school in the video below. Schools have been closed for the day.
More shattered windows at an electronics warehouse.
The meteor's giant streak lingered across the sky long enough for most of the region's residents to see it.
Photo courtesy of Chelyabinsk.ru.