History's First Recorded Death Due To A Meteorite Strike May Have Happened In Tamil Nadu, India [Video]

JohnThomas Didymus

An Indian bus driver may have become the first "known" person in recorded history to be killed in a meteorite strike. The man reportedly died after being hit by splinters "from exploding space rock" on Saturday, February 6, 2016, at a private engineering college in the northern Tamil Nadu state of India.

The chief minister of Tamil Nadu state, J. Jayalalithaa, confirmed on Sunday that Kamaraj, a 40-year-old bus driver with the Bharathidasan Engineering College, a private institution at K. Pantharappalli village (K.Bandarappalli) near Natrampalli, in the Vellore district, was injured seriously on Saturday after he was struck by splinters from a falling meteorite or "space rock" as he stood near a building at the college premises.

According to a report by the Hindu, the man was drinking or fetching water at a tank on the college premises after midnight when the meteorite strike occurred.

The water tank was also broken by the explosion, the Hindu reports.

The police report went on say that the gelatin sticks were detonated inadvertently by a gardener burning rubbish on the school premises.

According to the statement from the minister's office, "A mishap occurred yesterday when a meteorite fell in the campus of a private engineering college in Vellore district's K Pantharappalli village."

According to a follow-up statement by the local police after a bomb detection and disposal team visited the site, "We can [now] rule out the possibility of any terror angle or sabotage. Not a single ingredient pertaining to any kind of explosive was found at the site. We suspect it to be a meteorite fall."

According to a statement by the chief minister, "I have ordered the Vellore district administration and hospital officials to provide them [injured victims] best treatment."

A similar incident was reported at Alangayam, also in the Vellore district, late last month. A scientist with the National Physical Laboratory who was working at a site nearby rushed to Alangayam after villagers reported sighting a bright object falling from the sky and impacting the ground.

[Image via Shutterstock]