Nearly 1,000 injured by meteor blast in Russia

MOSCOW — A Russian health official says nearly 1,000 people have sought help for injuries caused by a meteor that exploded in the sky, blasting out countless windows.

Chelyabinsk health chief Marina Moskvicheva, said Friday that 985 people in her city had asked for medical assistance. The Interfax news agency quoted her as saying 43 were hospitalized.

The Russian Academy of Sciences said the meteor — estimated to be about 10 tons — entered the Earth’s atmosphere going at least 54,000 kph (33,000 mph). It shattered about 30-50 kilometers (18-32 miles) above the ground, releasing several kilotons of energy above the Ural Mountains.

Amateur video broadcast on Russian television showed an object speeding across the sky just after sunrise, leaving a thick white contrail and an intense flash.

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