A huge fireball shattered the morning skies over Russia's Urals region generating a series of powerful sonic booms, blowing out windows and causing widespread panic, injuring hundreds of people. The event has been captured by a series of Youtube videos uploaded from eyewitness cameras and CCTV footage.
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"Atmospheric phenomena have been registered in the cities of Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg and Tyumen," reports the Russian news agency RT. "In Chelyabinsk, witnesses said the explosion was so loud that it resembled an earthquake and thunder at the same time, and that there were huge trails of smoke across the sky. Others reported seeing burning objects fall to earth." The region is approximately 900 miles east of Moscow.
20,000 emergency response workers have been sent into the region and background radiation levels are being monitored - they are currently normal.
Details are currently sketchy, but as this video shows, it was certainly a major event. In another video, an eyewitness trains their camera on billowing smoke overhead just as a series of loud explosions cause windows to shatter and car alarms to be triggered. It's not thought the loud bangs were caused by surface impacts of meteorites, it's most likely shock waves (sonic booms) originating from the hypervelocity object.