Wednesday, September 19, 2007


It's not often, in fact it's been like never, that I report on a meteorite, but this story is just too intriguing for me to pass up.

So X-File finds hold onto your hats.

Scores of people in Peru are reportedly ill after they went to look at a crater apparently made by a meteorite which crashed near Lake Titicaca. Locals that fell ill said that they began ailing after handling a luminous substance at the site that they thought might be valuable.

"Blood tests are being carried out on most of the patients to determine what they're suffering from," the ministry said. "Specialists in epidemiology and environmental health are already in the area to collect samples of the supposed meteorite for analysis."

Video reports from the remote Andean village of Carancas along Peru's border with Bolivia, revealed what appeared to be a 100-foot-wide (30-meter-wide), 20-foot-deep (6-meter-deep) impact crater with a bubbling pool of water at the bottom.

Agence France Presse quoted a local official, Marco Limache, as saying that "boiling water started coming out of the crater, and particles of rock and cinders were found nearby."

Limache said the gases coming from the crater caused diarrhea, headaches,stomach pain and vomiting. The newspaper La Republica reported seven policemen became ill and were taken to a hospital.

Jorge López Tejada, the Regional Health Director for Puno, Peru, who is currently in Carancas, has confirmed that there are very strong odors coming from the supposed meteorite crash site. He has stated that despite the fact that masks are being worn, the odor causes throat irritation and nose itchiness.

Renan Ramirez, an engineer for the Peruvian Nuclear Energy Institute, said a team of scientists found no radiation at the crash site and confirmed that the crater was not created by a fallen satellite.

"If it had been the case, the strike would have let out radiation and contaminated the area," he said.

Residents also reported a change in behaviour among cattle and sheep that they said were "acting strangely and refuse to eat," the town of Puno's mayor said.

The following is from Living in Peru.

Peru: Doctors Aid in Rising Number of Illnesses after Meteorite Crash

Puno, Peru's Regional Health Directorate reported yesterday that doctors and nurses found it necessary to establish auxiliary medical tents near the health center in Carancas.

The medical tents were established so as to aid the rising number of people reporting to be sick after a meteorite landed in the area on Saturday afternoon.

According to Peru's La Republica newspaper, due to the high number of illnesses, district authorities are considering placing the town of Carancas, Puno, Peru in a state of emergency. It has been reported that at least 600 people have been affected by the meteorite.

Puno, Peru's Regional Health Director, Jorge López Tejada, reported yesterday that at least 150 people had been seen after having stated they had dermal injuries, were dizzy, nauseous or vomiting.

According to the townspeople, the illnesses began after the meteorite crashed and they began to touch the glowing rock believing it had some type of monetary value. Aside from the hundreds of townspeople that were affected, Tejada reported that 8 police officers had to be hospitalized after having taken samples of the meteorite.

Blood samples are being taken and there are several teams of specialists in the area.

Scientists confirmed yesterday that the meteorite that caused a 17 meter (55 foot) wide and 5 meter (16 foot) deep crater in Puno, Peru was a chondrite meteorite. The water in the crater is to be drained and several teams of scientists from different countries will take samples from the crater itself and from surrounding areas.

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