Meteorite fall (> 15 kg) 24 April 2020 ~ 8.27 p.m. (5.27 p.m. UTC) Kombuini, Kimicha and Gatuto villages, Kirinyaga County, Kenya

Last update: 5 May 2020

A meteorite (~ 200 grams, an ordinary chondrite) is reported to have fallen through the roof of Mary Wamburu’s home and shattered on the concrete floor below. Mrs Wamburu was preparing supper when she heard the meteorite fall onto the corrugated metal roof of her house near the village Kombuini [Kombu(i)-ini] (between Kagio and Kutus) in Kenya’s Kirinyaga County. She peeped into the room next to the one she was in and saw the hole in the roof and the shattered meteorite on the floor. Several witnesses in the area saw the bolide’s luminous trail and about 5 minutes later heard three detonation booms and another longer sound ending with a bang at about 8.27 p.m. local (5.27 p.m. UTC) on 24 April 2020. Another larger meteorite (~ 1 kg) is reported to have fallen next to the Kerugoya-Kaguma road in Kimicha. One large mass was witnessed to fall behind a man’s home and was immediately excavated from its impact hole. It was apparently found about 2.2 kilometres north-northwest of Gatuto and is reported to have weighed more than 8 kilograms before it was partly destroyed with a hammer by the locals who wanted to see what was inside it. The largest remaining fragment weighs about 7.4 kilograms.

There is the story of Josphat G. who was outside on a farm near Gatuto Road in Gatuto when he and his family saw the luminous trail and heard the detonation sounds of the bolide. Moments later he witnessed the impact of a 6.2-kilogram meteorite about 15 metres away from his location. He then found a 3-feet deep impact hole in a field with young maize plants. The following morning the intact meteorite was excavated from the impact hole.

One large specimen

Large meteorite specimen reported to have fallen in Kimicha. Photo: Davis Busz Nguthu

Intact meteorite mass reported to have fallen in Kimicha. Photo: Davis Busz Nguthu

The meteorite reported to have fallen in Kimicha. Video: Brian Murimi

The meteorite specimen reported to have fallen in Kimicha. Photo: Elims Elims

The ~8-kilogram mass

A small and the large soil-covered fragment (7.4 kg) of the ~8-kilogram mass after it was destroyed with a hammer by the locals. Photo: M. Farmer

A local, probably the finder, holding the large 7.4-kilogram fragment next to its impact hole. Photo: M. Farmer

The 6.2-kilogram mass from Gatuto

Josphat G. and the 6.2-kg mass he found in Gatuto. Photo: J. Higgins

The fragmented ~200-gram specimen (Kombui-ini)

TV news report about the meteorite fall on Mary Wamburu’s home. iNooroTV (25 April 2020)

Pointing at the impact hole in the roof. Photo: iNooroTV

Impact hole in the roof of Mary Wamburu’s home in Kombui-ini. Photo: iNooroTV

Fragments of the shattered meteorite from Kombui-ini. Photo: iNooroTV

Impact location of the meteorite on the concrete floor in Mrs Wamburu’s house in Kombui-ini.

Impact location on the concrete floor. Photo: iNooroTV

Chondritic meteorite fragment. Photo: Muriithi Johnson

Chondritic meteorite fragment. Photo: Muriithi Johnson

Chondritic meteorite fragment. Video: Muriithi Johnson (25 April 2020)