A man in India died on Saturday due to a fallen object that could have been a meteorite, officials said.
The object apparently prompted a mysterious explosion that killed a 40-year-old bus driver named Kamaraj, who worked for Bharathidasan Engineering College in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The victim only used one name, which is a common practice for people in the state.
If the object was indeed a meteorite, Kamaraj would be the first person to have been killed by a fallen space rock since 1825, according to The Washington Post.
Some news outlets reported that Kamaraj's death could be the first recorded human fatality caused by a meteorite, but a list by the International Comet Quarterly notes that a death of this kind happened two centuries ago, in another part of India.
Three other civilians were injured in the blast, which shattered the window panes of buses and buildings and left a giant crater in its wake.
"A mishap occurred yesterday when a meteorite fell in the campus of a private engineering college in Vellore district's K Pantharappalli village," the office of the chief minister of Tamil Nadu stated on Sunday.
It's still unclear whether the object was, in fact, a meteorite. Police recovered debris from the explosion that will be analyzed by a scientist from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics.
"We wait until the investigation is over to confirm if the object was a meteorite," said Vellore's police chief, Senthil Kumari.
The victim's family will receive 100,000 rupees (about $1471) from the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund, which provides financial assistance for people in the state of Tamil Nadu. The three injured people will each receive 25,000 rupees.
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