"Breaking news, a tremendous flash in the skies just couple hours ago happened in Chelyabinsk city followed by a devastating sonic boom leaving hundreds of windows broken and lighting the streets of the city with light hundred times stronger than normal. Lots of people left their houses thinking that an atomic bomb went off near the city. We’ve got very awesome footage here collected from multiple dashcams and surveylance cams around the city – hottest footage you can watch now on the Internet, including the full sound shocking sonic boom. This is really some weird stuff! Authorities currently broadcast warnings to citizens not to panic and carry on. In a few minutes we will add some photos too."
Considering the damage below, and the brightness of the flash, at this distance, I would expect a 1+ KT yield for this one! These happen a few times per year, mostly over the ocean, but boy this was a close call... A few KM lower and over a city like London...
"Moscow (CNN) -- A meteor streaked through the skies above Russia's southern Chelyabinsk region Friday morning, before exploding with a flash and boom that shattered glass in buildings and left hundreds of people hurt. The number of people reporting injuries climbed to more than 500 by lunchtime, according to Vladimir Stepanov, of the National Center for Emergency Situations at the Russian Interior Ministry.
Of those, 22 are hospitalized, he told state broadcaster Russia 24. About 270 buildings have sustained damage -- mostly broken glass -- as a result of the shock waves caused by the blast, Stepanov said, with hospitals, kindergartens and schools among those affected."
This is very funny timing indeed because today is the day when 2012 DA14 will make a close pass to the Earth. But make no mistake, this was not 2012 DA14! (People in Spain and Beijing would have heard that explosion.) More at Bad Astronomy. Phil suggests that this damage was caused by a sonic boom rather than explosion, but I think the damage at this range indicates a significant explosion. A small part of the remaining smoke trail shows what looks like convention, what I would expect from hot explosion vapor. And I question if a sonic boom from a small object (this must have been fridge to bus sized, to use the technical terms) could do damage this severe. Again my guess would be an explosion in the 1 to 10 KT range at high altitude. However, one can see some remains of the object continue on, so perhaps this is not the case after-all. The confirmation will come with analysis of the video footage that allows the altitude to be determined, and recovery of any meteorite remains.