BOGOTA – Colombian authorities are investigating whether an enormous celestial fireball that crossed the sky above several municipalities in the northeastern province of Santander over the weekend was a meteorite.
After checking with aviation authorities and the Colombian National Seismology Network, or RNSC, the possibilities that it was an airplane in an emergency situation or an eruption from a geological fault in the area have been discarded, Interior Ministry risk investigations chief Luz Amanda Pulido said.
Different witnesses told radio stations and newspapers that they saw a fireball streaking across the sky over several municipalities in Santander on Sunday and then heard a loud explosion.
The phenomenon was seen and heard around 3:15 p.m. and “apparently could have been a meteorite,” Pulido said.
Some aircraft were sent to try and find the place where the strange explosion occurred, Pulido said.
“It was a fireball like a big rainbow that apparently crashed into the mountain known as El Morro,” resident Ivan Araque told Caracol Radio.
A commission went from the city of Onzaga to the supposed area of impact to carry out an investigation, Araque said.
The correspondent in the city of El Socorro for the Vanguardia Liberal newspaper said that she also saw the strange object in the sky.
“We saw the object flying by. It had a blue light in front and behind had an orange flame that left some smoke,” the journalist told the daily.
She said that she and a group of friends saw the asteroid and about 10 minutes later heard the explosion.
Police said they had reports from homes in the rural area near the town of Piedecuesta of windows shattered by the shock wave from the blast. EFE