MOSCOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti) – Children at an indoor ice stadium in the city of Chelyabinsk fled the building with their skates on, following the impact of a shock wave from the meteorite which struck the Ural region on Friday.
“We were exercising on the skating rink inside the building when we heard a deafening blast. The skating kids were knocked down,” Alexandra Martents, who was inside the stadium at the time, told RIA Novosti.
There was no panic, she said, but the skaters quickly realized they had to leave the Uralskaya Molniya (Ural Lightning) stadium. “The roof-supports started shaking and part of the wall was torn out,” Martents said.
"Lots [of skaters] streamed towards the exit with skates on, climbing over the fence,” she said. Everyone quickly escaped the building unharmed with the help of sport coaches and guards, she added.
The ice stadium was among a dozen city buildings affected by the falling meteorite’s shock wave and sonic booms on Friday. The Chelyabinsk region is reportedly the worst affected by the meteorite, which also affected the Sverdlovsk and Tyumen regions as well as some parts of Kazakhstan.
“All the residents saw blinding flashes, very bright ones. Suddenly it was very, terribly bright. It was not as if the light was on, it was like everything was illuminated with unusual white light,” a teacher in the Chelyabinsk region town of Zlatoust told RIA Novosti.
The falling fragments were about “20 centimeters in diameter and weighed about one kilogram each,” the Head of the Sverdlovsk Region’s Emergencies Ministry branch said. A local observatory failed to forecast the incoming meteorite, which was accompanied by a sonic wave and a trail of smoke, he added.