'Ball of flame falling': World goes crazy over 'meteor shower'

THE world's eyes have turned to Gladstone after what is believed to have been a meteor came crashing to Earth near the city.

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British tabloids, such as the Daily Star, have reported that a meteor triggered an earthquake near Gladstone after residents spotted "burning objects in the sky".

"There are reports a meteor, or space junk, hit near Gladstone in Queensland, Australia," the Daily Star reported.

"The first footage of the reported object strike was captured on CCTV and shows a huge flash," it reported, referring to footage obtained by The Observer.

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News.com.au reported that US-based astrophysicist Harvard's Jonathan McDowell may have come closer to the truth, telling The Observer: "This sounds like a big (meteor), the first in several years that has been that big."

Sky News has reported that a "meteorite" may have caused tremors, but Geoscience Australia  confirmed again this morning that its equipment had recorded no "seismic activity".

Yahoo!7 quoted one witness saying she had seen a "ball of flame falling from the sky", looking south-east.

Gladstone mayor Matt Burnett has used the massive news as an opportunity to promote the region, slipping a link to tourism information into a tongue-in-cheek post to Facebook.

"Think we might have found it?" he wrote, referring to the statue at Gladstone airport.

"Well, not sure what it was or wasn't, but for all the meteor chasers on their way to the Gladstone region here is a link for more information on accommodation, restaurants and popular local destinations.

"The latest rumours are the 'meteorite' hit between Agnes Water and Tannum Sands.

"That's a fair area to search but you are all welcome to visit the Gladstone region!"

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