Gone But Not Forgotten
- Sep 17, 2001
- Reaction score
Meteorite hits Cambodia, sparks fires
Wednesday, January 26, 2005 Posted: 12:33 PM EST (1733 GMT)
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (Reuters) -- A 4.5 kg (10 lb) meteorite which landed in a former Khmer Rouge zone of northwest Cambodia started fires across rice fields and prayers from villagers who saw it as a divine omen of peace.
"Some farmers are angry with the rock because it caused fires and destroyed several hundred hectares of their paddy fields," said Sok Sareth, police chief of Banteay Meanchey province, around 200 miles northwest of the capital, Phnom Penh.
"But others asked the police to leave it where it landed and put it on shrine to pray for peace," he told Reuters on Wednesday.
The black lump of celestial rock sent villagers scurrying for cover when it thumped into the ground in the war-scarred southeast Asian nation on Monday morning.
"It made a noise like a bomb exploding," Sok Sareth said. "It's a good thing it didn't land in the village or people could have been killed."
Pictures of the meteorite were splashed across newspapers in the capital, but the item itself has been carried away by police pending scientific analysis.
Initial investigations by explosives experts still clearing the bombs and mines left behind from Cambodia's years of civil war against Pol Pot's guerrillas have not yielded many results.
"I asked my friend who works as deminer, but he has no idea what the rock is," Sok Sareth said.
Copyright 2005 Reuters. All rights reserved.
http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/space/01/2 ... index.html