Indian official: Man dies after being struck by meteorite at school

It would be the first recorded incident of a person killed by a falling meteorite.
By Ed Adamczyk  |  Feb. 8, 2016 at 8:38 AM
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CHENNAI, India, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- A falling meteorite killed one person, injured three others and left a 4-foot deep crater at an engineering school in India.

The incident occurred Saturday afternoon at Bharathidasan Engineering College in the Vellore district of India's southern Tamil Nadu state. School principal G. Baskar described tiny rock fragments found at the site as "blueish-black in color" and Tami Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jaya confirmed in a statement that "a meteorite fell in the campus of a private engineering college in Vellore district's K. Pantharappalli village."

The meteorite caused an explosion, blew out windows in nearby buildings and vehicles, and killed college bus driver V. Kamaraj, who was struck while walking near the site of the incident. A student and two gardeners working at the school were injured.

It would mark the first time in modern history a person was killed by a meteorite fall, records kept by NASA indicate.

"There was a noise like a big explosion. It was an abnormal sound that could be heard till at least 3 kilometers [2 miles] away," Baskar said.

Meteorites, parts of meteoroids which are themselves small particles of asteroids or comets, typically shrink and burn up as they enter the earth's atmosphere.

A 2013 meteorite explosion over Russia's Ural Mountains injured about 1,000 people, mostly from flying glass.

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