MOSCOW, February 15 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Minister for Emergency Situations Vladimir Puchkov has arrived in Chelyabinsk to assess the situation after a meteorite fell on Friday morning.
A Yak-42 aircraft with the minister onboard landed at Chelyabinsk airport at 20:20 Moscow time. A working group of the intergovernmental commission chaired by Puchkov arrived in Chelyabinsk together with him, following an order from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A meteorite shower fell on five Russian regions on Friday morning. “The lower layers of the atmosphere have been increasingly active in the territories of the Tyumen, Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk and Kurgan regions and the Republic of Bashkortostan since 07:00 in the morning Moscow time. That activity resulted in flashes of light, shock and sonic waves. A meteorite shower is believed to be the cause behind those natural phenomena,” the Russian Emergencies Ministry said. It added that meteorite fragments had fallen in three districts of the Chelyabinsk region (two places with fallen fragments were found in the Chebarkulsky and one in Zlatoustovsky districts).
The Chelyabinsk region has thrown all its forces to liquidate the damage caused by the meteo shower. The housing and utilities sector was the worst hit. According to the latest reports, windows were shattered in almost 300 buildings. More than 750 people, including 159 children, asked for medical aid. Thirty-one people were hospitalized.