Indian authorities inspect the site of a suspected meteorite landing on Feb. 7, 2016 in Vellore district in southern Tamil Nadu state, on Feb. 6, 2016.
STR/AFP/Getty Images
By Sarah Begley
February 10, 2016

Indian officials said a falling meteorite was responsible for the death of a bus driver in Tamil Nadu on Saturday, but NASA says that’s not the case.

The incident apparently created a crater about 5 feet deep and 2 feet wide, was accompanied by an explosion and left behind a black rock. NASA says the evidence it has seen is more consistent with a “land-based explosion,” according to the New York Times.

“Small meteorites do not start fires or cause explosions when they hit the ground,” NASA spokesman Dwayne Brown told ABC News. “To form a crater the size of what has been posted online would have required a meteorite of at least several kilograms.” The stone found in India, by contrast, reportedly weighed only a few grams. “While more details are forthcoming from local scientists, this is unlikely something from space,” he added.

[NYT, ABC]

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