60-year-old suffered a shoulder injury after a football-sized chunk of ice fell on her from the sky in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh on December 17. What was touted as a rare, celestial occurrence in the district's Aankhon village, has now grabbed attention of aviation scientists, who believe the culprit could have been a commercial plane which unintentionally dropped a ball of frozen poo and urine from its toilet.
Experts said this was perhaps be the first incident in India in which a person was injured due to falling ice from a passing plane. Eyewitnesses claimed that the victim, Rajrani Gaud, is alive only because the ice chunk crashed into the edge of a terrace of a house before hitting her.
"I was only 25 feet away from the spot where the monster came crashing down. Children and villagers witnessed the fall and then heard screams. We ran to wards Rajrani's house and referred her to hospital," Deepak Jain, a government school teacher in Aankhon village, told. "The ice ball hit the roof first. Other wise, it would have smashed her skull," he said.
It could have either been "blue ice" (a term used in aviation for frozen sew age leaked mid-flight from an aircraft's lavatory waste system) or a megacryometeor (an extremely large chunk of ice formed under unusual atmospheric conditions). An aviation expert said the waste leaking out of a lavatory is in a liquid state but gets frozen because of the low temperatures at the height at which airplanes fly-there is a fall of roughly 2 degrees for every 1,000-feet elevation. However, the chances of such a chunk of ice reaching the ground is remote although not unheard of.
If it was blue ice, the incident will be termed an aircraft accident and the victim will be entitled to compensation under the Aircraft (Investigation of Accidents and Incidents) Rules, 2012, said an expert.
However, the district administration did not bother to investigate the incident. It was not officially reported too. District collector AK Singh said he did not get it investigated as he thought it was a rumour. But Bimal Kumar Srivastava, a Delhi-based aviation consultant who has been working on blue ice falls, took it seriously and reported the matter to the director general of civil aviation and the director general of the India Meteorological Department. He got to know about the icefall from a Hindi daily which had termed it a mysterious incident.