A fireball fell from the sky and slammed into southern Peru over the weekend, creating a huge crater that emitted a sickeningly smelly gas, local authorities said. More than 600 villagers fell ill, the Peruvian radio network RPP reported Tuesday.

Video reports from the scene, near the remote Andean village of Carancas along Peru’s border with Bolivia, showed what appeared to be a 100-foot-wide (30-meter-wide), 20-foot-deep (6-meter-deep) impact crater with a bubbling pool of water at the bottom. . . .

Limache told RPP that the gases emanating from the crater caused nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and stomach pain — so much so that authorities were considering calling a state of emergency. The newspaper La Republica reported that seven policemen became ill and were taken to a hospital.

Villagers decided not to drink the water in the area because they regarded it as contaminated in the wake of the impact, RPP reported. Experts from Peru’s Geological, Mining and Metallurgical Institute, or Ingemmet, were reportedly on their way to the village in the country’s Desaguadero region to evaluate the health risk.

All kinds of organic compounds in some meteorites, but this is a new one to me.

UPDATE: Don McGregor emails:

You’re missing the most obvious consequence of this:


Lock and load!

Always with the zombies. I’m planning to be prepared for all contingencies. “Remember, don’t trust anything without a pulse.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Mass hysteria? Plausible, sure, but isn’t that what they always say just before the zombies appear? He’s hedging his bets, though: “That said, the first Peruvian cannibal story I hear, I’m loading up on canned goods and firearms.”