CHELYABINSK, Russia: Thousands of Russian emergency workers went out today to clear up the damage from a meteor that exploded over the Ural mountains, damaging buildings, shattering windows and showering people with broken glass.
Divers searched a lake near the city of Chelyabinsk, where a hole several metres wide had opened in the ice, but had so far failed to find any large fragments, officials said.
The scarcity of evidence on the ground fuelled scores of conspiracy theories over what caused the fireball and its huge shockwave yesterday in the area which plays host to many defence industry plants.
Nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky told reporters in Moscow it could have been war-mongers’ in the United States and that it is not meteors falling but a new weapon being tested by the Americans.
A priest from near the explosion site called it an act of God, while social media sites were flooded with speculation about what might have caused the explosion, if not a meteorite.