Did A Meteorite Kill A Man In Southern India?
It is among the strangest whodunit speculations of date. A meteorite has reportedly killed a man in Vellore district in Tamil Nadu on Saturday. If true, this would be the first meteorite-related death recorded in two centuries.
The meteorite whizzed by on Saturday after the extra-terrestrial body zoomed into the grounds of Bharathidasan Engineering College in Vellore on Saturday afternoon. It announced its presence with an explosive noise and left a two-foot-deep crater behind it, according to CNN.
Hence, 40-year-old Kamaraj, a bus driver on the campus of the college was killed, even as the meteorite injured gardeners and another student, who was taken to a hospital nearby.
Jayalalitha Jayaram, the state Chief Minister, confirmed the death and explained that $1,470 had been given as compensation to the family.
"A meteorite fell within the college premises," Jayalalitha said, according to Reuters. The man "sustained serious injuries and died while on the way to the hospital."
The incident is still not too clear to officials. However, they had no other choice other than considering the possibility of the meteorite, as there is no evidence of explosives on the spot.
"When no evidence of explosive material was found, we moved to the theory that it might be a meteorite," said a district official. "It is not confirmed yet as samples need to be analyzed."
On the other hand, scientists are sceptical.
"You have a better chance of getting hit by a tornado and a bolt of lightning and a hurricane all at the same time," is how astronomer and author of the book "Falling Stars: A Guide to Meteors & Meteorites" Michael Reynolds explains in National Geographic, reports The Times Of India.
It is only on Tuesday that a team from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics will reach a verdict as it has collected samples and investigated the possibility.