Chelyabinsk is an industrial city located over 900 miles east of Moscow. The fireball’s white wake left a smoky trail across the country that could be seen in Yekaterinburg, 125 miles away.
According to witnesses, they heard an explosion in the early morning hours with a bright flash that lit up the sky.
“There was panic. People had no idea what was happening. Everyone was going around to people’s houses to check if they were OK,” said Sergey Hametov, a resident of Chelyabinsk, about 930 miles east of Moscow, the biggest city in the affected region.
“We saw a big burst of light then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud thundering sound,” he told The Associated Press by telephone.
The sonic boom from the explosion created a shockwave that was strong enough to be felt inside apartments and other buildings. Fireballs from the explosion covered a wide area as they fell to Earth.
The meteorite was estimated to be traveling 19 miles per second and injured over 500 people, mostly due to flying glass and falling debris.