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Exploding meteor blamed for ground shaking, loud boom in Pittsburgh


Don’t look up, Pittsburgh.

Officials from the National Weather Service believe that a meteor exploded in the Pittsburgh area on New Year’s Day after residents reported feeling the ground shaking and hearing a massive boom.

Allegheny County officials tweeted Saturday that county 911 officials had received reports from South Hills and other areas about the disturbance.


NWS could not confirm for certain that a meteor was the case, but data showed a flash in the area that wasn’t lightning around 11:26 a.m. — around the time residents reported the loud noise and ground trembling.

Residents around suburban Pittsburgh reported feeling their homes shaking and rattling while a loud noise rang out in the region. Jill Tarasi, 42, said she was sitting on her couch in Hampton when the boom hit.

“It sounded like a house was exploding,” Tarasi, 42 told TribLive. “I have friends from all over saying they heard it, too.”

The NWS called exploding space rocks “the most likely explanation at this time,” in a tweet Saturday

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Shannon Hefferan, a meteorologist with the service in Moon Township, told TribLive that a similar event was reported Sept. 17 in Hardy County, West Virginia. 

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