Ria Novosti, February 15
Buildings across Russia’s Chelyabinsk Region were damaged by falling meteorite particles and the shock waves and sonic booms caused by them, Russian officials said on Friday morning.
A roof and wall partly collapsed at a zinc factory in Chelyabinsk Region after it was struck by the shock wave from the meteorite, the Interior Ministry reported. The officials did not specify which factory it was.
The factory has continued working normally despite the damage, the regional government said in an online statement.
South Ural State University has cancelled classes for at least two days due to damage to its buildings.
However, the governor of the Chelyabinsk district reported that a search team had found an impact crater on the outskirts of a city about 50 miles west of Chelyabinsk, which would indicate the meteor did not explode in the atmosphere. An official from the Interior Ministry told Interfax that three large pieces of meteorite debris had been retrieved in the area and that 10,000 police officers are searching for more.
A small asteroid, known as 2012 DA14, is expected to pass close to earth later on Friday, NASA reported on its Web site. It was not clear whether the meteorite event in the Ural Mountains was in any way related.
Video – Images: МЧС: Новых падений осколков метеорита не ожидается
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