Ball of light crashes to earth in Queensland

Last updated 14:33 16/05/2014

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Queenslanders have had a visit from space, and it's given them a thrill.

People in parts of the state have reported seeing a very large, flaming ball of light, with a blue and orange tail, tear through the night sky before crashing to earth in Townsville on Thursday night.

The ABC said residents from Cunnamulla, in state's southwest, to Townsville in the north, have reported seeing the object, which came down in the north Queensland city about 6.30pm (8.30pm NZT).

Townsville resident Terry Robinson said it was an awe-inspiring sight.

"It was pretty big and this thing hit like a bomb. It was huge," he told the broadcaster.

"I don't know how big it was. In the sky, it looked like half a dozen jumbo jets were falling out of the sky at the same time."

Another woman in Kelso on Townsville's outskirts said she saw an intense flash of light wash over the trees and light up the sky when the object came down.

"It was like an explosion but without the sound. It was like an atomic bomb effect," she told the ABC.

Police said officers in Townsville had received just one report about the incident, and had made inquiries to ensure it wasn't an aviation accident.

Beyond that, they can't shed any light on the mystery.

But experts have told the ABC the colour in the object's tail would suggest it was a satellite, with the plastics and metals used to make them letting off different colours when they burn.

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