Approximately 1,000 people have sought medical attention after a 10 ton meteor entered the earth’s atmosphere and exploded above the Ural Mountains about 1,000 miles east of Moscow.
Many local residents have captured footage of the meteor and the impact of the sonic boom. Sirens, car alarms and loud crash noises can be heard in the background of some videos.
According to ABCnews.com witnesses said they thought war had broken out.
"I saw a body moving in the skies. In a moment there came a flash - we first thought it was fireworks but a moment later we saw a trace as if from the rocket followed by an explosion in a couple of minutes. The window broke ... tea, bread, water - everything fell on the floor," one restaurant waiter in Chelyabinsk told ABC News.
The Russian Academy of Sciences reports that the meteor was moving at least 33,000 mph. They say it shattered about 18-32 miles above the ground which released several kilotons of energy resulting in a sonic boom effect.
One large fragment is reported to have landed in a lake and debris was found in three parts of Russia and in Kazakhstan.
The sub-zero weather surrounding the schools in the region and the fact that the windows were blown out caused most schools to close for the day. Cell phone networks have been knocked out but electricity, water and nuclear power plants are reported to be functioning normally.