**AUDIO**VIDEO**: Meteor hits Russia, causing injuries
A meteor streaked across the sky above Russia's Ural Mountains on Friday morning, causing sharp explosions and injuring more than 500 people, many of them hurt by broken glass. Over 80 of those injured are children.
``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 1500 kilometres 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.
Some meteorites (fragments of the meteor) fell in a reservoir outside the town of Cherbakul, the regional governor's office said, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency. It was not immediately clear if any people were struck by fragments.
Interior Ministry spokesman Vadim Kolesnikov said 524 people had sought medical treatment after the blasts, and at least three had been hospitalized in serious condition. Many of the injuries were from glass broken by the explosions.
Kolesnikov also said about 600 square meters (6000 square feet) of a roof at a zinc factory had collapsed. There was no immediate clarification of whether the collapse was caused by meteorites or by a shock wave from one of the explosions.
Reports conflicted on what exactly happened in the clear skies. A spokeswoman for the Emergency Ministry, Irina Rossius, told The Associated Press that there was a meteor shower, but another ministry spokeswoman, Elena Smirnikh, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying it was a single meteor.
Amateur video broadcast on Russian television showed an object speeding across the sky about 9:20 a.m. local time (0320 GMT), leaving a thick white contrail and an intense flash.
Meanwhile a Canadian hockey player living in Chelyabinsk tells NewsTalk 1010 that he didn't know what happened when the meteor hit.
Saskatoon native Michael Garnett, who plays hockey for the K-H-L, says he was jolted out of bed by a tremendous blast that shook his apartment building.
"All of a sudden I hear this loud bang that shook me out of bed literally," says Garnett.
Garnett who lives in one of the top floors of a highrise building says when he got out of bed, it was shaking and that the light fixtures were also shaking.
He says he initially thought that there had been plane crash or a bomb blast right outside his building but says he saw a bright streak across the sky.
The 31-year-old says he saw buildings with windows blown out and says the arena his team plays in was also damaged.
(w files from the Associated Press)