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Russian Meteor: Morning Meteorite Shower Injures 950 People and Destroys Buildings [VIDEO]

Travelers Today       By    Amanda Woods

Updated: Feb 15, 2013 12:55 PM EST

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Russian Meteor
Russian police work near an ice hole, where the meteor seen earlier in the Urals region, at lake Chebarkul about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Chelyabinsk, struck down on Friday, according to the Interior Ministry department for the Chelyabinsk region.(Photo : Reuters)

 A Friday morning meteorite shower landed at a lake near Chebarkul in Russia, injuring 950 people, devastating buildings and wiping out the mobile network.

The brightly burning rocks crashed at about 9:20 a.m. local time, and a bystander described it as "like a scene from the Armageddon movie, The Daily Mail reported.

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The city of Chelyabinsk, 900 miles east of Moscow and close to the Kazakhstan border, faced the brunt of the impact, according to The Daily Mail.

The paper reported that out of the 950 injured people, 82 were children, and two are in intensive care. One child's back was covered in blood, and others injured had bloodied faces.

Tim O'Brien, associate director of the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory, said the injuries happened when the meteor created a sonic boom.

"This reasonably large chunk of rock was moving faster than the speed of sound, maybe 20,000 miles per hour. It made a sonic boom in the atmosphere, and that hit buildings and shattered windows. That is what seems to have caused the injuries," he told The Daily Mail.

There were no reports of fatalities, and it's not immediately clear if anyone was struck by fragments, according to The Daily Mail.

At first, the paper reported, it was thought that the meteorite struck a late one kilometer from the city of Chebarkul, but an unconfirmed report in Russia Today indicated it was intercepted by Russian air defense.

The meteorite flew across the Russian sky from the direction of Kazakhstan, moving over southern Siberia, above the Tyumen, Kurgan and Sverdlovsk regions, the head of the Urals regional branch of the Emergencies Ministry press service, Vadim Grebennikov, told The Daily Mail.

Gulnara Dudka, a 20-something who saw the meteorite, described her experience to the Siberian Times.

"What was it? People said it was a plane that fell and exploded," she  told the paper. "I saw a bright blast from behind me. Everything was lit up, very bright light. It was like from Armageddon movie when the meteorite rain started; I really thought it was like doomsday. It was so scary, especially the explosion. It was very strong. I am speechless. It was so strong. My camera couldn't reproduce how strong the bang was."

Below is a video of the falling meteor:

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