June 12, 2009
German teen struck by meteorite
A German boy on his way to school has become the second known person to survive a direct strike by a meteorite, scientists say.
Gerrit Blank, 14, has a 3-inch scar where he was hit on the hand by a pea-sized rock that hurtled to earth at more than 30,000 miles an hour, The Daily Telegraph of London reported Friday.
At first I saw a large ball of light, and then I suddenly felt a pain in my hand, Blank told the Telegraph.
Then a split second after that there was an enormous bang like a crash of thunder.
Ansgar Kortem, director of Germany's Walter Hohmann Observatory, says tests indicate the rock that hit Blank was a real meteorite.
Most don't actually make it to ground level because they evaporate in the atmosphere, Kortem says.
The only other known case of a human surviving a meteor strike was in the United States in 1954 when a grapefruit-sized rock crashed through the roof of a home in Alabama and struck a sleeping woman.