A Reuters witness in Chelyabinsk in Russia confirmed that a powerful blast rocked the country early in the morning. Bright objects, identified as possible meteorites, fell from the sky in the Russian region of the Urals. The sounds of car alarms and breaking windows could be heard in the area and mobile phones were working intermittently. A shockwave in a 19-storey building in the town centre was also felt.

Another Reuters witness said that a trace from a falling object could be seen in Yekaterinburg, some 200km southeast of Chelyabinsk. Local residents too said that they witnessed burning objects in the sky of the Chelyabinsk and Sverdlovsk regions.

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According to an emergency official, it was definitely not a plane but they are still gathering the bits of information and have no data on casualties so far. Many calls about injuries and damage to buildings were received but as of time of writing, there were no immediate confirmed figures or specific reports on damage.

UPDATE:

Yelena Smirnykh (a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Emergency Situations), told the Ekho Moskvy radio station that she believed a meteorite broke apart and fell in several places – fragments were reported to have hit the earth around the city of Satka. Meanwhile, Igor Murog (deputy governor of the Ural region) told Interfax, “Now we have many calls about trauma, cuts and bruises”.

More to come as the story unfolds.

Sources: The Star, FOX News, The Verge, The New York Times.

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