Russian Meteor Changed Views on Life in Blast City, Poll Shows

The meteor explosion above Chelyabinsk this month changed the “perceptions of life” for 26 percent of the Russian city’s residents, a poll showed.

Forty percent of those who heard the explosion on Feb. 15 thought they witnessed a plane crash and 8 percent believed a missile had gone off, according to a Feb. 23-24 poll by the Moscow-based Public Opinion Foundation, or FOM. Ten percent said they correctly guessed that a meteorite had hit, while 1 percent each believed that it was a nuclear blast or the end of the world, the survey showed.

The meteor that exploded above Russia’s Ural Mountains sent shock waves that broke thousands of windows and injured about 1,150 people in the Chelyabinsk region. The event had a bigger impact on religious people, according to Grigory Kertman, senior analyst at FOM.

They “reported some significant changes to their attitude toward life twice more often than non-believers,” Kertman said by phone yesterday.

FOM polled 500 Chelyabinsk citizens by phone. The results have a margin of error of 5.5 percentage points.

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