February 15, 2013. A meteor crashing in Russia’s Ural mountains has injured at least 1200 people, as the shockwave blew out windows and rocked buildings.
Most of those hurt, in the Chelyabinsk region where the meteor fell, suffered cuts and bruises but at least 46 remain in hospital.
A fireball streaked through the clear morning sky, followed by loud bangs.
President Vladimir Putin said he thanked God no big fragments had fallen in populated areas.
A large meteor fragment landed in a lake near Chebarkul, a town in Chelyabinsk region.
The meteor’s dramatic passing was witnessed in Yekaterinburg, 200km (125 miles) to the north, and in Kazakhstan, to the south.
Officials say a large meteor partially burned up in the lower atmosphere, resulting in fragments falling earthwards.
Thousands of rescue workers have been dispatched to the area to provide help to the injured, the emergencies ministry said.
The Chelyabinsk region, about 1,500km (930 miles) east of Moscow, is home to many factories, a nuclear power plant and the Mayak atomic waste storage and treatment centre.