Russia’s Urals region has been rocked by a meteorite explosion in the stratosphere. The impact wave damaged several buildings, and blew out thousands of windows amid frigid winter weather. Hundreds are seeking medical attention for minor injuries.

Russian space agency Roskosmos has confirmed the object that crashed in the Chelyabinsk region is a meteorite.

As of 14:20 Moscow time, or 12:20am Eastern time,  514 people have sought medical attention in the disaster area, 112 of whom have been hospitalized .Among the injured there are 84 children, Emergency ministry reported.

Windows were shattered on Chelyabinsk's central Lenin Street and some of the frames of shop fronts buckled and the the shockwave could be felt in apartment buildings in the industrial city's center.

Russian news agencies cited unnamed sources as saying several people were injured at a school in a thinly populated part of the region, which is on the eastern edge of the Ural Mountains.

The Russian Academy of Sciences estimated the meteor weighed up to 11 tons and entered the earths atmosphere at 33,000 MPH.

It exploded 13 to 32 miles above earth and created a sonic boom that reportedly resounded through Russia.

Witnesses said the explosion was so loud that it seemed like an earthquake and thunder had struck at the same time, and that there were huge trails of smoke across the sky. Others reported seeing burning objects fall to earth.

"There was panic. People had no idea what was happening," a witness said. "We saw a big ball of light ... and we heard a really loud thundering sound."


The Emergencies Ministry described Friday's events as a "meteor shower in the form of fireballs" and said background radiation levels were normal. It urged residents not to panic.

Russia’s Emergency Ministry reported that 20,000 rescue workers were operating in the area to help alleviate any impact from the incident, and three aircraft were surveying the area to prioritize efforts.

To add more concern, later Friday, an asteroid known as the 2012 DA14 will come within 17,100 miles of Earth at 2:24 p.m. ET, a record close-approach for an asteroid this size.
youtube-user-gregor video still

This video will show what is was like inside buildings as the shock of the blast blows doors and windows out of their frames.

Photo from user @varlamov
Weather satellite Meteosat 10 has taken an image of the meteriote shortly after entering the atmosphere.(Copyright 2013 © EUMETSAT)
Sources: RT / Associated Press / Time