Chinese villager's home hit by rocket parts

A picture from Sina Weibo showed what appeared to be a piece of a rocket in front of a cracked wall and with pieces of broken bricks on the ground.
A picture from Sina Weibo showed what appeared to be a piece of a rocket in front of a cracked wall and with pieces of broken bricks on the ground.PHOTO: SINA WEIBO

BEIJING • Debris from a rocket carrying a Chinese satellite into orbit crashed into a villager's home minutes after the launch, local police and media reports said.

The parts plummeted to earth on Thursday morning in Xunyang county in the northern province of Shaanxi, news portal Sina said on a social media account, citing local sources. No casualties were reported, it added.

Pictures showed what appeared to be a piece of a rocket in front of a cracked wall and with pieces of broken bricks on the ground. Xunyang police said the machinery was part of a rocket's propulsion system and called on local residents "not to panic".

A Long March-4 rocket carrying a remote sensing satellite, used for experiments, land surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster prevention, was launched into space from neighbouring Shanxi province nine minutes before the impact, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Pieces of China's rockets have plunged through villagers' roofs before. In 2013, debris from a rocket carrying China's first moon rover plummeted to earth more than 1,000km from the launch site, crashing into two homes.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2015, with the headline 'Chinese villager's home hit by rocket parts'. Print Edition | Subscribe