Aerolite Explosion Over Madrid

1896

EXPLOSION OF AN AEROLITE OVER MADRID.
A FRAGMENT OF A PLANET.
PANIC IN THE CITY.
MANY PERSONS INJURED.

A telegram from Madrid, through Reuter’s Agency, dated Feb. 10, says :—At half-past nine this morning, an aerolite of considerable size exploded in the atmosphere above Madrid. The phenomenon was accompanied by a vivid glare of blinding light, followed by a loud report, which caused a general panic among the people. All the buildings in the
were shaken, many windows were smashed by the concussion.
The Madrid Observatory states that the explosion occurred at a height of twenty and a quarter miles above the earth’s surface. The sky was clear, and the sun was shining brightly at the time of the explosion, all that was visible in the heavens being a white cloud bordered with red, which was travelling eastward at a great rate, leaving behind it a train of fine light dust. The panic was general throughout the city, but especially in the markets.

Many persons fainted, and the superstitious populace believed that the occurrence was significant of the Divine wrath. At the Observatory it was believed that the fragments of the meteor fell somewhere in the suburbs, and a party was sent out to search for them.

At the tobacco manufactory there was a stampede among the workwomen, who imagined that an earthquake had occurred. They all rushed pell-mell down a staircase which gave way beneath the exceptional weight. Seventeen of them were injured, one of them, it is believed, fatally.

Other accidents are reported from various quarters of the city.

A young man in his terror jumped from a first floor window, and was badly hurt.

In nearly all the schools and colleges the pupils threw down their books and made for the doors, and in the frantic struggles to escape, many were seriously bruised.

Many shop-keepers closed their establishments.

The Palace did not escape the general excitement. It was feared at first that a bomb had been exploded, but the King’s tutor on learning the real nature of the occurrence reassured the Court.

Not only were buildings shaken, but at least one house is known to have collapsed.

At the United States Legation a partition wall fell in and many of the windows were shattered, but no other damage was done to the building. A great many houses throughout the city sustained similar damage, ge, partition walls being shaken down by the force of the explosion.

At Guadalajara, a town about 46 miles from the capital, the explosion was very strongly felt. Several small pieces of greyish stone, still warm, have been picked up in Madrid.

Owing to the time that elapsed between the observation of the explosion and the report the aerolite must have burst at a great distance from the earth. The note adds that no trace of the phenomenon have yet been found. Neverthless it is reported that numerous fragments of the aerolite have been collected at several points in Madrid and its vicinity.

Skegness Herald 14th February 1896

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