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27 Sep, 2011 10:49

‘Alien fireball’ blamed for wrecking Argentine town

Local people are blaming a ‘fireball’ for causing mayhem on the edge of Buenos Aires, wrecking several buildings, killing a woman and injuring many others. The cause of the powerful blast has not been identified and remains enveloped in mystery.

An explosion in Monte Grande, a small town on the outskirts of Argentina's capital, has ruined two homes, a business and several cars, killed a woman and injured nine people on Monday. The consequences of the “blast” would have been even graver had it occurred later on during the busiest period of the day, said local official Fernando Gray, according to El Dia newspaper. Eyewitnesses claim to have seen a ball of fire fall from the sky around the time of the explosion. Evidence came in the form of a film on YouTube, uploaded by a user named luckymauro on Monday, which showed a bright fire-like trace in the sky which has no match to possible gas explosions on the ground. The “impressive phenomenon”, as the author of the uploaded film calls it, was seen from points as distant as the Chilean city of Temuco and Mar del Plata on the Atlantic Ocean.“We began to detect a smell like gunpowder,” recalled one person in the area as reported by C5N news channel.“There is no explanation for what happened,” claimed another witness, Cayetano, according to Radio 10. “A neighbor ran because he saw a blue fireball falling,” the local added.An operation has been launched to test the area for radioactivity and unknown materials. Provincial justice and security minister Ricardo Casal said experts were “evaluating all theories, from an explosion to something strange that came from the sky,” Associated Press news agency reported. Though no evidence of a crater has been found, speculation is growing that the blast may have been caused by falling debris from the NASA satellite that was due to crash to Earth last weekend. Local authorities in Monte Grande requested a confirmation from the national Air Force about any possible phenomena of magnetic or other nature being registered in the area.  However NASA in its turn said its satellite – which fell to Earth sometime on Saturday – landed well clear of South America. Government officials tend to believe the cause of the blast was far more prosaic than the rumored fireball from the sky.  More likely, they say, is that its source was simply a poorly-connected domestic gas canister.The real cause of the blast in the Argentinean town has yet to be determined. Meanwhile, the author of the video showing the mysterious sky object changed his story under questioning and is now charged with providing false testimony.