WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Nearly 1,000 people were injured when a meteorite plunged to Earth, causing large explosions and widespread damage in the Chelyabinsk region of Russia Friday.

The situation could have been much worse had the meteorite fallen in a more densely populated area.

So what would happen if a meteor were to fall in a crowded city such as Washington, D.C.? The latest census figures show the region is home to more than 5.7 million people.

The first thought would probably be to wonder what the heck is streaking across the sky. After that, panic would undoubtedly take over.

“Crap!” one woman responded when asked what her first thought would be. “Second thought would be to take cover.”

Another man tells WNEW reporter John Domen there’s not much you could do — it would be close to the end of the world.

“(There’s) no cover from outer space from down here,” he said.

A falling meteor produces quite the lights display and loud booms. Some folks think it would be a heck of a show to watch, provided safety wasn’t an issue.

“Hit the water. Hit the ocean, not the land,” said one man. “Of course if it hit water and there was a big tidal wave … as long as no one got hurt, it’d probably be very cool to see.”

And then there are those of who believe they would know exactly what to do. After all, they’ve already seen it in the movies!

“I’ve seen Armageddon probably 50 million times,” a man said near the White House. “I know what a zero barrier is. I know how far we have to drill to drop those nukes. Otherwise, no. I’m not an expert (on meteors) at all.”

Naturally, there are others who would think something far more sinister was afoot.

Video of the Russian galactic event shows the falling meteor closely resembling a missile or other rocket. In the nation’s capital, it wouldn’t be a stretch for many to jump to the conclusion the country was under attack.

WNEW’s John Domen contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.


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