CHELYABINSK, Russia (Reuters) – Thousands of Russian emergency workers went out on Saturday 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 feet 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 on Friday in the area which plays host to many defense industry plants.
Nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky told reporters in Moscow it could have been “war-mongers” in the United States. “It’s not meteors falling. It’s a new weapon being tested by the Americans,” he said.
A priest from near the explosion site called it an act of God. Social media sites were flooded with speculation about what might have caused the explosion, if not a meteorite.
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