A meteor streaked over the city of Chelyabinsk in Russia's Ural Mountains on Friday morning, producing a blast that injured hundreds, caused minor damage to buildings and temporarily disrupted Internet communication, officials said.
As of noon Moscow time, as many as 725 people had sought medical help, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. Deputy Health Minister Igor Kagramanyan said 571 people had sought medical help, with 34 of them hospitalized, according to state-news agency Itar-Tass. The vast majority of injuries are not thought to be serious.
About 270 buildings have sustained damage — mostly broken glass — as a result of the shock waves caused by the blast, said Vladimir Stepanov, of the National Center for Emergency Situations at the Russian Interior Ministry. Hospitals, kindergartens and schools are among those affected, he said. About 20,000 emergency response workers have been mobilized, RIA Novosti reported.