8 February 2016
An Indian bus driver has died in what is the first recorded case of someone being killed by a falling meteorite in nearly 200 years.
The bus driver, named only as Kamaraj, is reported to have been killed after a meteorite landed next to him on the campus of the Bharathidasan Engineering college in Natrampalli, on the 6th of February.
According to The New Indian Express, Kamaraj suffered severe injuries from flying debris which came from the meteorite after it had hit the ground.
Kamaraj was believed to be standing on a patch of grass near the college canteen when the object struck him, leaving a small crater on ground and shattering nearby windows.
Scientists are investigating the scene after a blue rock which resembled a diamond was found at the scene.
Officials initially thought the blast was the result of explosives left over from a building site near the campus, but no evidence of this was found.
A government official said: “When no evidence of explosive material was found, we moved to the theory that it might be a meteorite.
“It is not confirmed yet as samples need to be analysed.”
Chief minister Jayalalithea Jayaram said: “A meteorite fell within the college premises.”
The man “sustained serious injuries and died on the way to hospital”, she added.
The minister then said that the family of the deceased man would receive 100,000 Rupees (R 23,000) in compensation while three other people who were injured in the incident would receive 25,000 Rupees (R5,900) each.
As recently as 2013, over 1,200 people were injured and dozens of buildings damaged when a meteorite exploded above the central Russian city of Chelyabinsk.
The last reported death from a meteorite strike was 1825, nearly 200 years ago.
By: Lincoln Kyle September (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Source: [The New Indian Express]