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Stunned Cuban locals witness possible meteor descent, crash to earth

Residents and tourists in the town of Vinales in western Cuba say they saw a flare pass through the sky and heard an explosion in what state media say may have been a meteorite.

The ball of fire and smoke trails appeared in a clear midday sky Friday and residents said there was a rain of small black stones that did not cause any material or human damage in Vinales in Pinar del Rio province. People said they also heard explosions in Havana.

One group captured on video the trail of smoke left behind and then in the distance hear the sound of an explosion which sends them looking for shelter. 

The loud bang also sets off a dog and startles a flock of birds.

Amid speculation on social media, Cuban state media denied that any planes had crashed, calling it a “natural, physical phenomenon.”

State-run Juventud Rebelde said a team of specialists from Cuba’s Geophysics and Astronomy Institute had been sent to Pinar del Rio to study a possible meteor strike.