A meteor fragment exploded over the Chelyabinsk region of Russia today, causing a sonic boom which triggered pandemonium as windows burst and fireballs fell from the sky. The blast has left over 500 injured, according to the Russian Ministry of Emergencies.
According to reports from media, people at the scene experienced a blinding flash of light followed by an exploding sound.
The sonic boom exploded store windows and also lead to the frames of some store fronts collapsing. While there have been no deaths, The Guardian reports that 524 people have been injured, with 2 in intensive care.
Viktor Prokofiev, a resident of Yekaterinburg in the Urals mountains told Reuters, “I was driving to work, it was quite dark, but it suddenly became as
bright as if it was day – I felt like I was blinded by headlights.”
While the source of the meteorite remains unknown, some have speculated whether it is connected to a massive asteroid due to pass Earth.
According to RT.com, unconfirmed reports have suggested that a meteorite was shot down by Russian air defenses.