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Jakarta Post

India farmers shocked as meteorite crashes into rice field


    Agence France-Presse

New Delhi, India   /   Thu, July 25, 2019   /   06:50 pm
 India farmers shocked as meteorite crashes into rice field In this photo taken on July 22, 2019, villagers and farmers pose around the crater of a 10 kg meteorite that crashed in a field at Mahadeva village in Madhubani district of the Indian eastern state of Bihar, before it was brought on July 24 to the Patna Museum. (Agence France Presse/STR)

A suspected meteorite the size of a football plunged into a rice field in eastern India, startling farmers, authorities said Thursday.

Onlookers said the light brown-coloured object sent them fleeing from the field when it fell at their rural village on Wednesday afternoon, sending up smoke.

"The farmers were working in the paddy field when this heavy rock fell from the sky with a very loud noise," Shirsat Kapil Ashok, the magistrate for Madhubani district in Bihar state, told AFP

The villagers returned after the smoke subsided and pulled the rock out from its four-feet-deep crater.

"We saw it has very strong magnetic properties, some shine and weighs around 15 kilograms (33 pounds)," Ashok added.

The find is being analysed by scientists as a possible meteorite.

Meteors are particles of dust and rock that usually burn up as they pass through Earth's atmosphere, with those that survive the fall known as meteorites.

In 2016 authorities in southern India's Tamil Nadu state said a meteorite killed a bus driver and injured three others. 

While Indian scientists backed the claim of the regional authorities, the US space agency NASA later said did not believe the object was a meteorite.

In February 2013 a meteorite plunged over Russia's Ural Mountains, creating a shockwave that injured around 1,200 people and damaged thousands of homes.