MOSCOW, February 16 (RIA Novosti) – Divers have completed examining Lake Chebarkul in the Chelyabinsk Region where a meteorite fragment had reportedly fallen but found no trace of the celestial body, a spokesperson for the Russian Emergencies Ministry said on Saturday.
“The ministry’s divers have completed examining the lake’s area but discovered no traces of the meteorite,” Irina Rossius said.
A flaming meteorite streaked across the sky and slammed into central Russia on Friday with a massive boom that blew out windows and damaged thousands of buildings around the city of Chelyabinsk, injuring more than 1,000 people in the area. According to the Health Ministry, 51 were hospitalized.
Officials are trying to determine where the fragments have landed. None have been recovered as of Saturday morning. Chelyabinsk Region Governor Mikhail Yurevich said earlier that one of the fragments had fallen into Lake Chebarkul.
Regional police attributed that information to local fishermen.
Background radiation levels reportedly remain unchanged. This was confirmed both by emergencies officials, and by the national nuclear agency, concerned because the area has a fair number of nuclear facilities.
Updated at 22:25 with information from regional police.