Authorities in India believe a meteorite crashed into a private engineering college over the weekend, killing one person and injuring three others. If confirmed, it would be the first time in modern history that a person has been killed by a meteor strike.
P. K. Senthil Kumari, the police chief in Vellore district in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, told CNN that an object crashed into the campus grounds of the Bharathidasan Engineering College around noon on Saturday. The force, which some originally thought to be caused by a bomb, made a booming noise that could be heard from miles away and left an impact crater about two feet deep.
The blast also shattered the windows of nearby buildings and vehicles.
The single fatality was of a 40-year-old bus driver named Kamaraj that worked at the college. Three others – two gardeners and a student – were also injured and are said to be receiving treatment at a local hospital.
The mystery object hasn't yet been confirmed to be a meteorite and will need to be tested by scientists before such a claim can be made, Kumari noted. Nevertheless, the state government described it as such and said it would offer 100,000 rupees (roughly $1,470) to the victim's family as compensation. The three people injured, meanwhile, will receive 25,000 rupees ($367).
Lead image courtesy Babek Tafreshi, Getty Images