Scientists in India were on Tuesday analyzing an object that fell from the sky and killed a man that has been claimed to be a meteorite. Jayalalithaa Jayaram, chief minister of the Tamil Nadu state in southern India, said the man, a bus driver named V. Kamaraj, was killed by a falling fragment from space at a engineering college campus on Saturday, and offered his family compensation. Three other people were injured.
If confirmed, it will be the first recorded death caused by a meteorite in nearly 200 years. On Tuesday, officials and scientists from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics examined a 5-foot-wide crater at the college in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu that was said to have been caused by the falling object, the Associated Press reported.
The small, blue jagged object can fit inside a closed hand. The scientists told the AP it has not been determined if it is a meteorite or debris from a passing plane or man-made satellite. Prof. G.C. Anupama, the dean of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, told the news agency the object would have to undergo chemical analysis.
In 2013, a 66-foot-wide meteor exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, shattering windows in apartment blocks and causing a factory roof to collapse, injuring more than 1,000 people.