02/15/2013, 00.00
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Moscow: meteor shower in the Urals, panic and (minor) injuries among population (video)

The phenomenon was captured on video and posted on the internet and on TV. At least a hundred people affected, but none seriously. As a precaution, the government sends 20 thousand soldiers to the area. Today the passage of 2012 DA14 is expected, which will pass over Indonesia at 27 thousand km altitude.

Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A spectacular meteor show struck central Russia this morning, near the Ural Mountains, causing damage to buildings and injuries but none of them serious. Some amateur videos and CCTV (transmitted by the RT channel or posted on YouTube) have captured images of the event, which has sown panic and terror among the population. Also today asteroid 2012 DA14 is expected to pass close to Earth, whose chances of impact with our planet have been declared "null and void" by the experts. According to the calculations at 7.25 this evening (Italian time) it will travel at a minimum distance of 27,300 km above the skies of Indonesia, marking the "closest point" between the asteroid (50 meters long) and the Earth's surface.

The meteor shower this morning in Russia - made up of rocks that ignite on impact with the atmosphere - caused huge explosions and damage to objects and people. In the town of Chelyabinsk (Urals) residents report that the ground shook, glass shattered, roofs were ripped off and there were about one hundred minor injuries. Witnesses report that the fall of fragments was also visible in Yekaterinburg, about 200 km south-east of Chelyabinsk.

Moscow sources add that the meteor shower occurred in a sparsely populated and this contained damage. "A meteorite - said an official - has disintegrated over the Urals, some fragments have caught fire in the lower part of the atmosphere."

Many citizens in a panic called the emergency services. As a precautionary measure, the authorities have stationed at least 20 thousand people in the area including experts and volunteers of Civil Defence, but there were no danger, none of the injured - mostly affected by shattered glass and splinters - required hospital treatment.

An official of the government said that the phenomenon has ended and there are no other meteorite falls forecast in the coming hours. At first people thought a plane exploded mid-flight.


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