Scientists study India's deadly 'meteorite'

2016-02-09 17:25
Indian authorities inspect the site of a suspected meteorite landing  in Vellore district in southern Tamil Nadu state in an impact that killed a bus driver and injured three others.  (AFP)

Indian authorities inspect the site of a suspected meteorite landing in Vellore district in southern Tamil Nadu state in an impact that killed a bus driver and injured three others. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New Delhi - Indian scientists were on Tuesday analysing a small blue rock that authorities say was a meteorite that fell from the sky and killed a bus driver.

The team from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics were also examining the crater left in the ground by the plummeting object in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

Experts say other explanations were possible for the incident on Saturday. But if proven, it would be the first confirmed death by a meteorite in recorded history, they say.

"Our team has taken samples from the site and the object. It will take a couple of days to determine its origin," a senior official at the institute, who did not want to be named, told AFP.

"As of now we cannot confirm if it is a meteor or not," he said.

The mysterious object struck inside a college campus in Vellore district, shattering window panes of a nearby building, killing the driver who was walking past.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram said on Monday the object was a meteorite. Weighing only 11g  and about as heavy as a AAA battery, it left a 1.5m crater, according to local media reports.

No recent deaths

Police said doctors have found rock fragments embedded in the driver's body. The object, being held by police, sticks to magnets, indicating it is made of metal, authorities have been quoted as saying.

Experts have said the object could be debris from a rocket or a space shuttle.

Meteors are particles of dust and rock that usually burn up as they pass through Earth's atmosphere.

Those that do not burn up completely, surviving the fall to Earth, are known as meteorites.

Indian experts say meteorites sometimes hit the Earth but no deaths have been recorded in recent history.

In February 2013, a meteorite plunged over Russia's Ural Mountains creating a shockwave that injured 1 200 people and damaged thousands of homes.

Read more on:    india

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.