It was one of the rarest of the rare incidents to happen on Saturday night when a falling meteorite banged head on one Vellore College employee by name Kamaraj and he died immediately, while three others are injured and glasses were found shattered on the campus due to the impact of space fury.
Soon, one scientist from National Physical Laboratory who happened to be nearby to study similar meteorite fall on January 26, was asked to examine the site. He found no explosives behind the incident and said it was due to meteorite.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa soon confirmed that the death was due to a meteorite. Last time a meteorite caused death and havoc was on Feb.15, 2013 when the Russian town of Chelyabinsk, injuring more than 1,500 people and damaging 3,000 buildings.
Since deaths are rare in a meteorite strike, the Tamil Nadu incident has raised several eye-brows over the authenticity of the expert. However, it was not unprecedented as there were several instances in human history.
The odds of one getting killed by a meteorite is one in 20 billion people in a year, that if they live for 80 years. So, somehow scientists are unable to digest the fact that government officials concluded it was a meteorite without consulting experts in the country.
A meteorite is a solid debris from a comet and survives entry on to the Earth’s surface. Scientists say meteorites are poor conductors of heat and remain cool even as hot outer layers melt during their entry into our atmosphere.
However, the phenomenon is not unprecedented as there are many reports of injuries, deaths, and fireballs recorded in history owing to falling stars of by meteorite impacts. Here is the list:
1490 – Shansi in China: 10,000 deaths recorded due to meteorites.
1639 – China: Meteorites destroyed several homes and several deaths were recorded.
1647: Two sailors were killed in Indian Ocean due to meteorite.
1790: France: A farmer was killed and his home was destroyed due to meteorite.
1825: Orland, India recorded the death of one man, while a woman was injured.
1827: Man injured in Mhow, India.
1870: Man was stunned to death due to a meteorite in Nedagolla.
1879: New Town in Indiana, USA had on record one man killed in his bed due to meteorite. Same year, a farmer was killed in Dun-Lepoelier, France.
1897: West virginia in USA recorded that walls were pierced and one horse was killed, while one man was injured in a similar incident.
1907: Weng-li in China recorded the death of a whole family.
1908: Tunguska in Siberia: 2 killed when a forest of 2000-sq.km was flattened due to meteorite.
1929: zvezvan in Yugolsavia recorded a meteorite hit of a bridal party in which one person was killed.
1946: Santa Ana in Mexico recorded an event in which 28 were injured and several houses were destroyed.
1954: Sylacuaga in Alabama in the US witnessed a 4-kg meteorite striking a home in which a woman was injured.
1992: Mbole in Uganda recorded an event in which 48 stones fell from the sky and damaged roofs of many houses and one boy was injured.