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This meteorite crashed through the roof of Brenda and Phil Archer’s home in the Auckland suburb of Ellerslie on 12 June 2004. It bounced off a leather couch and hit the ceiling, before coming to rest on the floor where their grandson had been playing a few minutes earlier. Brenda Archer said that it was lucky it hit the roof: ‘If it had fallen in the garden, it would probably have been added to the pile of rocks I’m taking to the dump. Nobody would have known about it.’
The first modern instance of a meteorite striking a human being occurs at Sylacauga, Alabama, when a meteorite crashes through the roof of a house and into a living room, bounces off a radio, and strikes a woman on the hip. The victim, Mrs. Elizabeth Hodges, was sleeping on a couch at the time of impact. The space rock was a sulfide meteorite weighing 8.5 pounds and measuring seven inches in length. Mrs. Hodges was not permanently injured but suffered a nasty bruise along her hip and leg.
Ancient Chinese records tell of people being injured or killed by falling meteorites, but the Sylacauga meteorite was the first modern record of this type of human injury. In 1911, a dog in Egypt was killed by the Nakhla meteorite.