Nearly one-thousand people have been injured after a meteor streaked through the sky and exploded over Russia’s Ural Mountains — creating sonic blasts that shattered countless windows.
The Russian Academy of Sciences says the meteor — estimated to be about 10 tons — entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of at least 54-thousand kilometres per hour shattered about 30 to 50 kilometres above the ground.
The academy says it released the energy of several kilotons over Chelyabinsk, a city of one million.
Residents say there was panic because people had no idea what was happening.
City officials say the explosions broke an estimated 100-thousand square meters of glass and three-thousand buildings were damaged.
Health officials say 985 people asked for medical help — most hurt by shards of glass.
The Interfax news agency reports 43 were hospitalized.
The meteor hit less than a day before the asteroid 2012 DA14 is to make the closest recorded pass of an asteroid to the Earth — about 28-thousand kilometres.
But the European Space Agency says its experts have determined there is no connection.