500 injured by blasts as meteor falls in Russia

9:16 AM, Feb 15, 2013   |    comments
A meteorite contrail is seen from a a highway from Kostanai, Kazakhstan, to Chelyabinsk region, Russia/AP
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By Jim Heintz, Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) -- The Russian Academy of Sciences is estimating the meteor that streaked into the skies over the Ural Mountains and caused shock waves that injured more than 400 people weighed about 10 tons (11 tons avoirdupois).

The academy said in a statement hours after the Friday morning fall that the meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of at least 54,000 kph (33,000 mph) and shattered about 30-50 kilometers (18-32 miles) above ground.

The fall caused explosions that broke glass over a wide area. The Emergency Ministry says more than 500 people sought treatment after the blasts and that 34 of them were hospitalized.

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