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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 August, 2004, 10:42 GMT 11:42 UK
Woman hurt in 'meteorite' strike
meteorite
There are thousands of unidentified meteorites in the UK
A woman believes she was struck by a meteorite while hanging out washing.

Pauline Aguss, 76, from Lowestoft, Suffolk, felt a sharp pain in her arm and when she looked down there was a one-inch gash along her forearm.

She blamed a peg bag but the next day husband Jack, 76, spotted a walnut-shaped metallic rock on a garden path.

"We've made inquiries and are pretty certain it was a meteorite fragment. I knew a linen peg bag couldn't have caused a cut like that," he said.

The metallic sheen and shape of the rock gave clues to its true identity.

Mr Aguss said: "It's rusty coloured and you can see a few crystal pieces in it.

'Extremely lucky'

"They mentioned on TV that a meteorite shower was due and that's when I first thought that that is what the piece of rock could be.

"I dread to think what could have happened if it had hit her on the head - she was extremely lucky," he added.

One meteorite makes it through the atmosphere and falls to Earth each week on average, according to David Fagg, secretary of Norfolk Astronomers.

He said there is a only one in a billion chance that anyone will be hit by one.

Scientific tests would have to be carried out on the suspect meteorite before anyone could say for certain that it did fall from the sky, he said.

Meteorites often resembled pieces of rock left over from an industrial smelting process.


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