FSB opens probe into theft of Chelyabinsk meteorite’s fragment
MOSCOW, August 11 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has launched a fraud case against a collector suspected of stealing a fragment of a meteorite which fell in the Chelyabinsk Region in mid-February 2013, RIA Novosti reported on Friday.
In July, employees of a state history museum filed an application with the FSB claiming that the stolen fragment weighting over 2.5 kilogram disappeared from the museum’s storage. It was later found in the private collection of a geologist hired by the museum in the past. Market value of one kilogram reaches 1 million dollars (about $16,600).
On February 15, 2013, at 7:23 AM Moscow time, an observatory in Yekaterinburg, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) southeast of Chelyabinsk, reported a meteor shower.
The meteor shower hit three regions of Russia and Kazakhstan. Dozens of people were hurt by broken window glass and debris. There were no fatalities, but over 1,500 people sought medical assistance and the Chelyabinsk city government pledged to pay up to 50,000 rubles ($1,650) in compensation to meteor shower victims for housing repairs.
According to the analysis of the fragments, the meteorite is a rare variation of common chondrite meteor type LL5.