WATCH: Exploding Meteorite Lights Up Russian Sky

Hundreds of people were reportedly hurt, none very seriously, when a meteor exploded over Russia.

By Jon Schuppe
|  Monday, Mar 25, 2013  |  Updated 12:38 PM EDT
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People in the Ural Mountains region of Central Russia woke up Friday to a meteorite streaking across the sky, exploding with a brilliant blast of light and sending powerful shock waves that shattered windows, damaged a factory's roof and hurt hundreds.

The meteorite appeared to be the largest recorded object to hit the earth since 1908, an astronomer told Nature.

The event was caught on video by dozens of witnesses in Chelyabinsk who documented what appeared to be the meteorite's arrival in the lower atmosphere, lighting up the dawn, and leaving massive trails of smoke.

Then, as they gazed up in wonder, the blasts came—first one big one, then smaller ones. Glass smashed, car alarms began bleating, and people streamed out of buildings, trying to figure out what was going on.

Hundreds of people were reportedly hurt, most of them suffering minor injuries as a result of the breaking glass. The roof of a zinc factory was reportedly damaged, but did not collapse.

A sampling of purported footage of the event from YouTube:

In this video, taken from a camera inside a car, the driver listens to the radio when a flare appears on the horizon, then burns brighter as it zooms overhead.

 

This view shows the meteor brighten an otherwise calm, pre-dawn sky.

 

A driver documents the aftermath at a Zinc factory and the trail of smoke overhead.

 

From inside the building, a witness looks up at the trails of smoke, then the shocks rock the air, breaking the window.

 

A similar perspective, only from outside a building.

 

Another witness films the blasts and their aftermath and joins the evacuation of buildings.

 

Local news coverage describes "burning objects raining down from the sky." 

 

An amateur compilation of witness footage.

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