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Meteor Causes Panic in Russia's Urals Region

Russian officials say a meteor streaked across the sky above Russia's Ural Mountains Friday morning, causing explosions and shattering windows.

Officials say more than 750 people in the Chelyabinsk region were injured, many by broken glass.

Local authorities say a wall and the roof of a Chelyabinsk zinc factory were damaged in the blast. Vladimir Stepanov, a representative for Russia's emergency response service, said emergency teams are on the ground.



"All emergency forces and facilities were switched to high readiness mode. That's over 20 thousand people, who started an investigation of the territory, to review the situation. As of 10:30 (0430 GMT) as a result of the study it was revealed that background radiation in the territory was normal. The systems and structures in energy, communications, transport and life maintenance sectors are functioning."



Authorities say mobile phone service is working intermittently.

The meteor hit just hours before an asteroid known as 2012 DA14 is set to have a close encounter with Earth. The U.S. space agency NASA says the 45-meter-wide asteroid could come as close as 27,000 kilometers above Earth. The agency insists, however, the asteroid is not in danger of crashing to Earth.

The European Space Agency in its Twitter feed says the meteor above Russia Friday has no connection with the asteroid.

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