MOSCOW, February 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s ruling party has called on businesses in the central Russian city of Chelyabinsk, hit by fragments of a massive meteorite on Friday, not to profiteer from demand for windows and building materials.
Windows were shattered and walls damaged by shockwaves in 4,715 buildings, the majority of them residential, as the meteorite streaked across the sky over the Chelyabinsk region on Friday morning.
“Local authorities must appeal to the conscience of those companies making a fast buck on the troubles of their fellow residents,” said Igor Rudensky, the United Russia lawmaker who heads the State Duma committee on economic politics and business.
Rudensky admitted, however, there was very little the authorities could do legally to force companies to lower their prices.
Reports from Chelyabinsk say some companies have raised prices for window glass and other materials by several times since the meteorite plunged to earth.
Around 1,000 people were injured when the meteorite made its unexpected appearance, most of them cut by flying glass. Health Ministry officials say 52 remain in hospital.