Sunday, September 28, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Meteor causes panic in Orissa

Bhubaneswar, September 27
Night turned into day for a few seconds as a huge ball of fire, believed to be a meteor, streaked across the sky in coastal Orissa causing panic among the people today.

Official sources, admitting the occurrence of the phenomenon, said collectors of all districts where the fireball was sighted had been asked to report to the government about it.

Remnants of the fireball had landed in a village under the Kaptipada police station in Mayurbhanj district starting a fire there, Revenue minister Biswabhushan Harichandan said quoting official reports.

We have asked the collectors to report about the matter, he said.

Panic-stricken people in at least 11 Orissa districts saw the fireball streak across the sky as the darkness was completely dispelled for a few seconds at around 6.30 pm.

Reports from Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur and Mayurbhanj districts said the phenomenon was accompanied by ear-splitting noise which even shattered the doors and windows.

The other districts which reported the sighting were Cuttack, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Angul, Bhadrak and Balasore.

People on the streets of the capital city here saw the flash of light for a second or two but there was no noise.

Meteological Department sources said it could be a meteor which had landed somewhere in the state. Dr Prahallad Chandra Nayak, former director of the Pathani Samanta Planetarium here, also agreed saying that it was a shooting star.

A report from Baripada said people saw two fireballs landing in Sudsudia village under the Kaptipada police station setting ablaze a thatched house.

Two women received injuries following the incident while another person present nearby fell unconscious. They were being treated at the local hospital.

The authorities were investigating reports that remnants of the meteor had landed in Jagatsinghpur district.

A report from Kendrapara said three persons, including a woman, from different villages in the district had been admitted into the district headquarter hospital after falling unconscious as they witnessed the rare occurrence. PTI

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