Scientists have begun an investigation into a suspected meteorite death, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the first recorded death from a meteorite in almost 200 years.
Indian scientists are investigating whether a man was killed by a meteorite, which if confirmed would be the first recorded death from falling fragments of space rock in almost 200 years.
Jayalalithaa Jayaram, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, has said a bus driver at a college in her state was killed by the meteorite and awarded 100,000 rupees ($1,470) in compensation to his family.
“A meteorite fell within the college premises,” Jayalalithaa said. The man “sustained serious injuries and died while on the way to the hospital”.
Jayalalithaa, a former film star, left tight-lipped local officials struggling to explain the mystery blast at the engineering college that left a small crater and broke windows.
The bus driver was standing on a patch of grass near the college cafeteria when he was killed, while two gardeners and a student were injured, officials said. A dark blue stone resembling a diamond was found at the scene.
Government officials at first suspected the blast was caused by explosives accidentally left after building work. However, investigations found no evidence of explosive material at the site.