MOSCOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti) – Some 1,000 people, including more than 200 children, have been hurt as a result of falling meteorite fragments Friday, mostly in the Chelyabinsk Region, the Interior Ministry said in the early evening. Figures on hospitalization varied significantly, however, and most injuries seemed to be relatively light.
The majority of those hurt suffered cuts from broken glass as the meteorite hit the Earth, smashing windows and causing damage to over 3,000 buildings, officials said.
In the mid-afternoon, prior to flying to the Chelyabinsk Region, Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov told President Vladimir Putin that “more than 500 people have asked for medical help; 112 people, including 80 children, were hospitalized.”
At about the same time, the Russian Health Ministry gave comparable figures for injuries, but not hospitalizations, saying some 525 people, including 82 children, were hurt in the Chelyabinsk Region alone. However, the ministry’s figure for hospitalizations was 34 people, including 12 children.
The Health Ministry said two of the injured were in grave condition.
By late Friday afternoon, Chelyabinsk’s regional governor, Mikhail Yurevich, said that the number of victims had gone up to 950, adding that two-thirds of the injuries were very light.