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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 September, 2003, 17:39 GMT 18:39 UK
Meteorite wrecks houses in India
At least 20 people are reported to have been injured after a meteorite crashed to Earth in eastern India.

Reports say hundreds of people in the state of Orissa panicked when the fireball streamed across the sky.

Burning fragments were said to have fallen over a wide area, destroying several houses.

An official in Orissa said the authorities were assessing the damage and trying to recover what was left of the meteor.

Reports from Kendrapara district in Orissa, where the meteor came to Earth, said windows rattled as it passed overhead.

"It was all there for just a few seconds but it was like daylight everywhere," one resident said.

Rarity

Experts estimate about 100 tons of extraterrestrial dust grains fall to earth each day.

Occasionally, a dark pebble or fist-size object will rain down, with boulder-sized objects or bigger being a historical rarity.

The only recorded fatality from a meteor was an Egyptian dog that had the bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time in 1911.

Seven decades later, scientists recognised the dog had been struck by a meteorite from Mars.


SEE ALSO:
Meteor's family poses puzzle
08 May 03  |  Science/Nature
'Meteor' lights up Midlands
06 Oct 02  |  England
Shooting star observed from space
17 Feb 00  |  Science/Nature


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