A meteorite shower has hit three regions of Russia, and Kazakhstan, Russian Emergencies Ministry officials confirmed on Friday morning, according to RIA Novosti.
In one affected Russian region, Chelyabinsk, the authorities have received numerous calls reporting injuries received as a result of the meteorite shower, and 20,000 emergency response workers have been mobilized. Background radiation levels reportedly remain unchanged.
Reports vary about whether this was one larger meteorite, or many smaller ones.
“Verified information indicates that this was one meteorite which burned up as it approached Earth and disintegrated into smaller pieces” deputy head of the Russian Emergencies Ministry press office, Elena Smirnykh said.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, speaking at the economic forum held in the neighboring Krasnoyarsk region, called the meteorite fall “a symbol of the forum.”
“I hope that there will be no serious consequences, but it is a demonstration that it is not only the economy that is vulnerable, but our planet as well,” he said.
Russia's nuclear agency, Rosatom, issued a statement saying its facilities across affected regions were functioning normally.