Meteorite hits Russia, thousands injured

A meteorite exploded above central Russia on Friday morning. It was just like a scene from a science fiction movie. People watched the bright, swimming pool-sized rock fly across the sky and then crash. It entered the Earth's atmosphere and looked like a giant shooting star. The power of the explosion damaged many buildings and smashed thousands of windows. The city of Chelyabinsk had no gas or Internet for a short time after the meteor shower came down. Thousands of people went to hospital for medical treatment. Many of them had cuts from flying glass. They did not know the shock wave from the explosion would be so dangerous and cause so much damage.

The Russian army found three giant holes in the earth where different parts of the meteorite hit the ground. One crater was six metres wide. The craters were 80 km apart. Investigators are checking the sites of where the meteorites came down to see if they are radioactive. The police have sealed off the areas to protect the public. Scientists working at the site said the meteor was mostly rock and iron. They said it is the largest meteorite to hit the Earth for over 100 years. NASA estimated that the meteor weighed around 7,000 tons and exploded with the power of 20 atomic bombs. Russian newspapers say that some people are now trying to sell rocks from the meteorite for $15 each.