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Suspected space debris falls on N.J. plant

New Jersey man says space junk fell from the sky onto water treatment equipment.

By Ben Hooper

SECAUCUS, N.J., Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Workers at a New Jersey waste water treatment plant said an object that struck two pieces of equipment appears to have fallen from space.

Steve Bronowich, operations foreman at Secaucus Treatment Works, said the object apparently fell from the sky Wednesday and struck two pieces of equipment while two workers walked nearby.

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Plant worker Vic Suppa told 1010 WINS, New York, he and his coworker heard a "pretty loud bang" and looked up to see the object "flipping through the air."

Bronowich said he looked online to see if he could identify the object and said it appears to resemble a space shuttle heat tile.

"What they show online for a space shuttle tile, it's a little thicker than what we actually have here, but it certainly looks like it," Bronowich said. "I don't know if it's actually a tile, but I know it did come out of the sky."

A NASA representative said in an email it was "extremely unlikely this object is related to the space shuttle" because "we have not flown the space shuttle since 2011, we had a highly accurate accounting of the tiles, and this does not appear to be a tile."

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The representative said shuttle tiles are printed with unique numbers and are thicker than the object recovered in Secaucus.

The object was handed off to the county health department, which said it would be turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration.

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