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Russian police investigate online sales of meteorite fragments


08:11, February 19, 2013

Key Words: meteorite;Russia;crash;Chelyabinsk;Urals;explosion;

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MOSCOW, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Russian police are checking out information that fragments of a meteorite that struck Chelyabinsk city in Russia's Urals region on Friday were being sold online, local media reported on Monday.

"Information (that) appeared on the Internet about sale of the meteorite's pieces has been thoroughly studied, (and) a decision will be made upon completion of the investigation," Spokeswoman for the Chelyabinsk Interior Department Angela Chirkova told the RIA Novosti news agency on Monday.

Shortly after the rare event, in which nearly 1,200 people were injured by the meteorite explosion over Chelyabinsk, some websites reportedly posted advertisements offering alleged meteorite pieces for sale. Prices ranged from 100 to 1,000 rubles each (about 3 to 33 U.S. dollars).

The vendors claimed that they had collected the small rocks from the site of the Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant, which was slightly damaged by the meteorite's blast wave.

Russian scientists said on Monday that they have found some pieces of the meteorite in the Chebarkul lake near Chelyabinsk.

But some scientists hold that no large remnants could exist, as the meteorite was mainly composed of ice which almost completely evaporated during its entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

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