The European Space Agency said there was no link between the meteorite and the Asteroid 2012 DA14
NEW DELHI, INDIA: Right when the world was all set to witness the Asteroid 2012 DA14, another frightening incident has occured in Russia. More than 500 people, including 84 children, were injured when a meteorite shower rained down on three regions of Russia, and neighbouring Kazakhstan, officials said on Friday.
Eye witnesses have managed to capture the footage of the meteorite and the videos of the same are now going viral on YouTube. A video uploaded by RussiaToday has got over one lakh views, and shows the meteorite shower across different areas in Russia. To watch the video, click here.
Most people were injured by shattering windowpanes and many of the injuries seemed to be concentrated in the hard-hit Chelyabinsk region. Reports about whether this was one large meteorite or many smaller ones initially varied, but the national space agency, Roscosmos, confirmed by early afternoon that the object had been a single meteorite, a report given earlier by emergency officials.
"Verified information indicates that this was one meteorite which burned up as it approached the Earth and disintegrated into smaller pieces," deputy head of the Russian Emergencies Ministry press office, Elena Smirnykh said. Roscosmos stated the meteorite had been moving at a speed of 30 km per second.
"All the city's residents saw blinding flashes, very bright ones," a teacher in the Chelyabinsk region told RIA Novosti. "Suddenly, it was very, very horribly bright. Not like the lights got turned on, but as if everything was illuminated with unusual white light."
The incident has also triggered fears about an apocalypse. ''Meteorite hits Russia. Maybe the Mayans were just a few months off?'' says a tweet. ''A Meteor hit a town in Russia I thought they were supposed to stay in sky and look pretty guess the Mayan were off 2 months'' says another tweet.
''Wow Russia just got hit by an asteroid for real! So we are supposed to trust @NASA about the even bigger 'roid to "just miss us"?'' tweets a viewer. However, the European Space Agency (ESA) said there was no link between the meteorite and the Asteroid 2012 DA14, which is due to pass close by the Earth on Friday.
(With inputs from IANS)