The Colombian media is going wild with speculation over a “giant fireball” that crashed into the earth in the Andean nation’s central Santander department.
Colombian media are reporting that authorities have not located the remains of the giant fireball, which is believed to have been a meteorite, but reports in international media say it had been found.
Andina.com reported that Bucaramanga Mayor Fernando Vargas confirmed that the phenomenon was a meteorite which left a crater 100 meters in diameter where it crashed in the San Joaquin municipality in Santander.
However Santander Governor Horacio Serpa told Colombian media that authorities have been unable to locate the presumed meteorite.
“Something happened, but we aren’t clear about what it was, there is a lot of speculation. I myself hear the noise and I thought it was a bomb,” Serpa told W Radio.
The Colombian media has been buzzing with eyewitness accounts of the fireball, which fell out of the sky and caused a massive explosion at 3:15PM local time Sunday.
The director of the Ministry of the Interior’s Risk Management sector, Luz Amanda Pulido, said that authorities have ruled out that the phenomenon may have been an airplane, or related to seismic activity.
Colombia’s Institute of Mining and Geology (Ingeominas) confirmed that no tremors were registered at the time the fireball is believed to have hit the earth, and suggested that it was a meteorite.
A committee assembled by Serpa to analyze the phenomenon concluded they believe it to be a type of meteorite known as an aerolite, which can be comprised of either iron or rock and ice. They believe it is likely to be the latter type, which often breaks up into small fragments in the air, making it impossible to locate.
Colombian air force helicopters have been commissioned to fly over the area to try to locate the meteorite.
Inhabitants in rural areas of the Santander department have been asked not to touch any foreign objects that they may encounter.