Meteorite (~ 5 kg) fall in Bimbe (Limbe ?) village, Chitanda chiefdom, Chibombo District, Central Province, Zambia at ~7:00 a.m. CAT (~5:00 UT) on 7 June 2020

Last update: 12 October 2020

A meteorite (~ 5 kg), apparently an ordinary chondrite, fell at around 7 a.m. on 7th June 2020 in Bimbe (Limbe ?) village, in Chitanda Lumamba’s chiefdom in the northwest of the Chibombo District of the Central Province in Zambia. It fell in a playground creating a pit in the ground and a cloud of dust on impact. The Bimbe (Limbe ?) village deputy headman witnessed the impact hearing a loud noise and smelling a strong and strange odor. Only minutes after the fall the headman went to the impact location. The meteorite was deliberately broken by local villagers to acquire smaller fragments which could be shared. The meteorite fragments were kept in a plastic bag. The meteorite fall caused panic among some villagers who were afraid more stone could fall and hurt people. Some apparently thought some kind of daylight witchcraft had happened, others believed a piece of a plane or a bomb had fallen. The villagers called Zambian Air Force (ZAF) officers to investigate the meteorite. A group consisting of Alfred Sakwiya (Central Province deputy permanent secretary), Barnabas Musopelo (former Chibombo district commissioner), Edson Nachimwenda (the Central Province chiefs affairs officer), Boniface Mbewe (provincial meteorological department) and the journalists Chambo Ng’Uni (Zambia Daily Mail), Munambeza Muwanei (Times of Zambia), Alfareeson Sinalungu (Muvi TV), Simon Mbewe and Joackim Chisanga (Zambia News and Information Services) went to Bimbe to document the fall. There they met Chief Chitanda Lumamba who then took the meteorite to his palace in Chibombo. On 30 September it was reported that according to Barnaby B. Mulenga, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, Chief Chitanda Lumamba has refused to hand over the meteorite to the government so far. Hopefully, it will soon be properly analyzed at a specialized research institute to be eventually added to the database of the Meteoritical Society. We thank Chalumba Simz very much for providing photos of the meteorite.

If you have additional information (eyewitness reports, photos, videos etc.) on this meteorite fall which can help to improve this report, please let us know.

The largest fragment of the meteorite in its impact pit. Photo: The Speech Analyst / #SlyvesterMwale (12 June 2020)

Larger fragments of the meteorite. Photo: Chalumba Simz

Recomposed fragments of the meteorite inside the impact pit at its fall location. Photo: Chalumba Simz

Recomposed fragments of the meteorite inside the impact pit at its fall location. Photo: Chalumba Simz

Recomposed fragments of the meteorite inside the impact pit at its fall location. Photo: Chalumba Simz

The oval impact pit is about 18 x 12 cm wide. Photo: Mwape Somanje

The impact pit has been fenced off. Photo: Mwape Somanje

Measuring the depth (~ 12 cm) of the impact pit next to the trunk of a tree. Photo: Mwape Somanje

A fragment of the meteorite. Photo: Mwape Somanje

The largest meteorite fragment inside the impact pit at its fall site. Photo: Chambo Ng’uni / Zambia Daily Mail

Chief Chitanda Lumamba holding a fragment of the broken meteorite. Photo: Chambo Ng’uni / Zambia Daily Mail

The approximate area of the Chitanda chiefdom within Chibombo district according to Nyanga Janet (2017). The exact location of the reported Bimbe (Limbe?) village within the chiefdom is not known to us.


Zambia Daily Mail (17 June 2020, page 10)

Zambia Daily Mail (25 July 2020)

Zambia Daily Mail (30 September 2020)