German teen struck by meteorite

ESSEN, Germany, June 12 (UPI) -- A German boy on his way to school has become the second known person to survive a direct strike by a meteorite, scientists say.

Gerrit Blank, 14, has a 3-inch scar where he was hit on the hand by a pea-sized rock that hurtled to earth at more than 30,000 miles an hour, The Daily Telegraph of London reported Friday.


"At first I saw a large ball of light, and then I suddenly felt a pain in my hand," Blank told the Telegraph. "Then a split second after that there was an enormous bang like a crash of thunder."

Ansgar Kortem, director of Germany's Walter Hohmann Observatory, says tests indicate the rock that hit Blank was a real meteorite.

"Most don't actually make it to ground level because they evaporate in the atmosphere," Kortem says.

The only other known case of a human surviving a meteor strike was in the United States in 1954 when a grapefruit-sized rock crashed through the roof of a home in Alabama and struck a sleeping woman.

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