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Old 02-15-2013, 12:01 AM   #6

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Meteorite hits Russia: Official

February 15, 2013 - 4:50PM

MOSCOW A Russian emergencies official says at least one meteorite has fallen in Chelyabinsk region.

Associated Press was quoting an official who identified the object as a meteorite.

Reuters reported that a powerful blast rocked the Urals region with bright objects falling from the sky.

"It was definitely not a plane," an emergency official told Reuters, without elaborating. "We are gathering the bits of information and have no data on the casualties so far."

An emergency official told RIA-Novosti, no one was hurt in a meteor shower. Local residents said they witnessed burning objects in the sky of the Chelyabinsk and Sverdlovsk regions.

A Reuters witness in Chelyabinsk reported hearing a huge blast early in the morning and feeling a shockwave in a 19-storey building in the town centre.

The sounds of car alarms and breaking windows could be heard in the area, the witness said, and mobile phones were working intermittently.

"Preliminary indications are that it was a meteorite rain," an emergency official told RIA-Novosti. "We have information about a blast at 10,000-metre (32,800-foot) altitude. It is being verified."

The trace from a falling object could be seen in Yekaterinburg, some 200 kilometers (125 miles) southeast of Chelyabinsk, another Reuters witness said.

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