A terrifying meteorite shower left more than 950 people injured, buildings devastated and the mobile network wiped out when it hit Russia this morning.
Brightly burning rocks could be seen for miles as they crashed at around 9.20am local time and one bystander described it ‘like a scene from the Armageddon movie.’
The meteorite is believed to have landed in a lake near Chebarkul, a town in the neighbouring Chelyabinsk region.
The city of Chelyabinsk, 900 miles east of Moscow and close to the Kazakhstan border, took the brunt of the super sonic impact.
Mobile phones are only working intermittently and there were localised power cuts.
The emergencies ministry said that 10,000 rescue workers had been dispatched to help the injured and locate those needing help.
The stadium of Chelyabinsk’s Traktor ice hockey side was hit and state television showed a part of the roof and a wall shorn off a brick zinc factory in the city.
Most of those hurt, in the Chelyabinsk region where the meteor fell, suffered cuts and bruises but at least 46 remain in hospital.
A fireball streaked through the clear morning sky, followed by loud bangs.
President Vladimir Putin said he thanked God no big fragments had fallen in populated areas.
A large meteor fragment landed in a lake near Chebarkul, a town in Chelyabinsk region.
The meteor’s dramatic passing was witnessed in Yekaterinburg, 200km (125 miles) to the north, and in Kazakhstan, to the south.
“It was quite extraordinary,” Chelyabinsk resident Polina Zolotarevskaya told BBC News. “We saw a very bright light and then there was a kind of a track, white and yellow in the sky.”
“The explosion was so strong that some windows in our building and in the buildings that are across the road and in the city in general, the windows broke.”
Officials say a large meteor partially burned up in the lower atmosphere, resulting in fragments falling earthwards.
Pretty good video from Sky news here.