MOSCOW: A meteor that exploded over Russia’s Ural mountains and sent fireballs blazing to earth has set off a rush to find fragments of the space rock which hunters hope could fetch thousands of dollars a piece.
Friday’s blast and ensuing shockwave shattered windows, injured almost 1,200 people and caused about $33 million worth of damage, said local authorities.
It also started a ‘meteorite rush’ around the industrial city of Chelyabinsk, 1,500 km (950 miles) east of Moscow, where groups of people have started combing through the snow and ice.
One amateur space enthusiast estimated chunks could be worth anything up to 66,000 roubles ($2,200) per gramme – more than 40 times the current cost of gold.
Scientists at the Urals Federal University were the first to announce a significant find – 53 small, stony, black objects around Lake Chebarkul, near Chelyabinsk, which tests confirmed were small meteorites.