Russia was hit by a meteor on Friday in the nation's central Ural Mountains, injuring hundreds and causing damage to buildings in six cities, according to reports.
Fragments of the approximately 11-ton meteor fell in a thinly populated area of the Chelyabinsk region, Russia's Emergency Ministry said in a statement, the Associated Press reported.
Dozens have been hospitalized but the majority of those wounded received treatment for minor cuts from broken glass after the falling debris caused explosions that broke windows and shook buildings.
Interior Ministry spokesman Vadim Kolesnikov said more than 500 people had called for medical assistance.
Kolsenikov also said about 6,000 square feet of a roof at a zinc factory had collapsed.
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 meteorite.
According to an unconfirmed report in Russia Today, the meteor was intercepted by Russian air defense. Russia's deputy prime minister said Russia does not have the capability to shoot down meteors.
"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, told the Associated Press.
Later Friday, an asteroid known as the 2012 DA14 will come within 17,100 miles of Earth at 2:24 p.m. ET, a record close-approach for an asteroid this size.