Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa said a bus driver was killed and three others injured by a meteorite impact that rocked a college campus in Chennai. The driver sustained serious injuries and died while on the way to hospital.
Local officials initially suspected the blast was caused by explosives left behind after building work. A district official said when no evidence of explosive material was found they moved to the theory it might be a meteorite.
Scientists from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics were to take samples from a black pockmarked rock weighing 24 pounds, which was found at the bottom of a small crater at the scene of the explosion.
News agency Reuters said if the bus driver was killed by a meteorite he would be the first human to meet that fate since 1825. Most rocks hurtling through space that cross earth’s path are incinerated as they enter our planet’s atmosphere, but some do make it through.
Last year a large asteroid disintegrated over Russia and was captured on video as it did so. Most of the damage was caused by the power of the blast as it blew up in the air.