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Russia’s Urals region has been rocked by a meteorite explosion in the stratosphere. The impact wave damaged several buildings, and blew out thousands of windows amid frigid winter weather at the city of Chelyabinsk. Witnesses said the explosion was so loud that it seemed like an earthquake and thunder had struck at the same time. Others reported seeing burning objects fall to earth.
950 people sought medical attention as a result of the incident. Three serious injuries have been reported, with most of the injuries caused by broken glass and minor concussions.
The Russian army has joined the rescue operation. Army units are searching for meteorite debris in several places. Radiation, chemical and biological protection units have been put on high alert.
Allegedly, at least one piece of the fallen object caused damage on the ground. It crashed into a wall near a zinc factory, disrupting the city's Internet and mobile service.
The Emergency Ministry reported that 20,000 rescue workers are operating in the region. Three aircraft were deployed to survey the area and locate other possible impact locations.