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Hunt on for meteorite remains

The search for the remnants of the huge meteorite, which sped across the sky in coastal Orissa last night by district authorities continued ...

Written by Press Trust Of India | Bhubaneswar |
September 29, 2003

The search for the remnants of the huge meteorite, which sped across the sky in coastal Orissa last night by district authorities continued today amid reports of villagers in Kendrapara district stumbling upon two strange objects this morning.

Officials in Kendrapara said they had received reports about the findings in Paschima Suniti and Benakanda villages under the coastal Mahakalapada block. Efforts were on to retrieve the objects from the villages, they said.

Revenue Minister Biswabhushan Harichandan had last night directed the collectors of all districts where the phenomenon had been sighted to inquire and submit their reports to the government.

The villagers spotted the two stones in a paddy field, Gagan Bihari Pradhan, the sarpanch of Suniti Gram Panchayat said. While the object at Benakanda village was blown to smithereens, the one found at Paschima Suniti — supposedly weighing 5.7 kg — had been preserved at the local panchayat office, he said. The ball of fire, described by scientists as a meteorite, streaked across the sky from west to east at about 6.30 pm yesterday and was witnessed by people in at least 11 districts in the coastal belt.

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Meanwhile, one of the 11 people admitted to hospitals in Kendrapara, Jajpur and Mayurbhanj districts after witnessing the spectacle died in the SCB Medical College Hospital at Cuttack today.

Sukadeb Singh (75), who along with two others, had been shifted from Kendrapara hospital to Cuttack, died this morning, the sources said. Five persons, including three from one family, were admitted to hospitals in Jajpur district while three others were hospitalised in Mayurbhanj district.

People at Sudusudia village had claimed to have seen the ball of fire landing on a thatched house in their village last evening. SP Y.B. Khurania said preliminary investigations had not yielded any remnants of the suspected meteor though the house had been completely burnt. The three persons who fell unconscious after the incident were recovering in hospital. A 75-year-old man, Harekrushna Behera, said he had lost his vision after seeing the fire.

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First published on: 29-09-2003 at 12:00:00 am

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