Explosion a mystery

MOST of South Grafton would have heard it as well as many in Grafton, but no one seems to have come up with an explanation for a massive explosion in the South Grafton area about 10.30pm on Tuesday.

The explosion was powerful enough to rattle windows and set dogs barking near the intersection of Bent and Ryan streets, South Grafton, but others close to the showground in Grafton also reported hearing a loud blast.

Bellevue Cl, South Grafton, resident Peter Sloman said he was drifting off to sleep when he heard it.

He said he looked out his window and saw a flash to the south-west of South Grafton.

It was difficult to tell how far away it was, but he estimated it would have been a few kilometres.

After the flash he saw two red fireballs with fire trails, a couple of hundred metres apart zig-zagging towards the ground.

The fireballs appeared to be moving independently of each other.

Then there was nothing.

Police said yesterday morning they had received no reports of an explosion and the South Grafton Fire Brigade did not get any call outs.

Parkes Observatory operations scientist John Sarkissian said it would be rare for a meteorite to reach the ground.

Most, he said, were only about the size of a grain of sand and they burst into flames about 100km from the surface of the earth.

They looked like shooting stars, he said.

Larger meteorites would sometimes get closer and explode, but that usually occurred between 20 and 50km from the ground and were not audible from ground level.

“It is very, very rare for a meteorite to hit the ground,” he said.

If anyone heard the explosion or saw the fireballs, they can contact The Daily Examiner by phoning 6643 0500 or emailing newsroom@dailyexaminer.com.au

 PS: The explosion was loud enough to startle the author, but not enough to get him out of his chair.

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