• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Great 'balls of fire' light up skies of southern France
File Photo: AFP

Great 'balls of fire' light up skies of southern France

The Local · 18 Feb 2016, 08:21

Published: 18 Feb 2016 08:21 GMT+01:00

While many wondered whether the phenomenon was linked to some kind of military exercise and others panicked that planes were on fire, the fire balls are believed to have been caused by a meteorite shower.

Social networks lit up at around 6.20pm on Wednesday after hundreds of people caught sight of a fire ball passing through the sky.

"You're never going to believe me but I saw a meteorite, something on fire falling from the sky! "F**king hell I 'm in shock," said one eyewitness. 

The regional newspaper Dauphiné Libéré said hundreds of eye-witnesses had contacted them from right across southern France.

Readers described seeing a “green ball with a trail” or a “white ball that exploded followed by a long trail of fire.”

One resident in the Alps told Le Parisien newspaper the meteorite “passed pretty low and horizontally and was a big ball of green fire.”

The newspaper reported that three meteorites had made “impact” with the ground in the Isere département, without causing any damage.

The exact locations where the meteorites hit the ground have not been identified, but one was near Vercors Autrans, another near Saint-Vincent-de-Mercuze and the last near the town of Gières.

 

Police in the Savoie region said they had received numerous calls to report the sighting.

To try to calm people’s imaginations police took to Twitter and let the public know that the phenomenon they had seen was probably a meteorite shower.

Last week a man in India was believed to have picked up the unfortunate title of being the first man in the world ever to have been killed by a meteorite. Although that theory has since been rubbished by Nasa.

Story continues below…

 

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France faces same big questions after latest attack
Photo: AFP

The latest terror attack has left France facing similar questions to those it has tackled numerous times since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January last year. So how will France react?

Muslim leaders denounce attack on French church
CFCM President Anouar Kbibech in front of the Grande Mosque in Paris, June 2015. Photo: AFP

France's Muslim leaders have denounced Tuesday's apparent terror attack at a church, and called for the country's Muslims to band together in support.

French workers 'pay the most taxes in Europe'
Photo: AFP

From tomorrow the French will be the only workers in Europe still handing over money to the taxman.

Church mourns loss of slain 86-year-old French priest
Photo: AFP

Father Jacques Hamel could have retired at 75 but believed he could still be of service so carried on.

What we know about the attack on the French church
Photo: AFP

A priest was killed after armed men took over a church in northern France, before they too were killed by police. Here is what we know.

A timeline of terror in France since Charlie Hebdo
Police officers near the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on November 13th, 2015. Photo: AFP

Here is a recap of major assaults and foiled attempts since the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris in January 2015.

Isis claims priest's killing as Hollande vows all-out war
Photo: AFP

Terror group Isis has said its soldiers were behind the killing of a French priest at his church on Tuesday as President François Hollande vows to wage war against them "by every means".

France has long feared terror would strike its churches
Notre Dame is one place of worship that soldiers are asked to protect. Photo: AFP

France's long-standing fears that its churches would be targeted by terrorists were realized on Tuesday. But can the government do anything to protect them?

BREAKING
Priest slain in 'terror attack' on church in northern France
Photo: AFP

UPDATED: Two men armed with knives killed a priest after taking several people hostage at a French church, before they were shot dead by police.

One dead after violent clashes in Calais migrant camp
The "Jungle" migrant camp in Calais. Photo: AFP

An Ethiopian has died after he was stabbed in the chest during clashes at the Calais migrant camp.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
A timeline of terror in France since Charlie Hebdo
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
A timeline of terror in France since Charlie Hebdo
Culture
Thirteen free and easy ways to learn French
Culture
32 mistakes foreigners make when they arrive in France
National
Here are the worst scams to avoid whilst driving in France
Analysis & Opinion
Isis can simply be a conduit for the violent desires of psychopaths
Features
Six outdoor bars in Paris you simply must visit
Culture
The open-air Villette cinema has been cancelled over security fears
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Culture
Henri Rousseau exhibition proves huge hit in Paris
National
Frenchman caught trying to sell Nice massacre souvenirs online
Society
OPEN NOW: Here's why you should head to the Paris Plages
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
What's on in France: Still plenty to see and do in July
Lifestyle
Treasures of Versailles to go on display in Australia
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Nice attack: What we know so far
National
Nice attacker: Body-building, drug-taking, violent flirt
National
IN IMAGES: Drawings in tribute to Nice attack victims
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Promenade des Anglais: The iconic heart of the French Riviera
France faces more questions after latest deadly attack
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Why is France the target of choice for jihadist attacks?
National
Nice truck attack: 'Bodies went flying like bowling pins'
Nice attack: Families of missing make pleas on Twitter
Politics
Boris Johnson cheered and booed at Bastille Day party
2,766
jobs available