Video: An explosion on Monday evening shakes homes in parts of northern Minnesota; The reason is not clear
Updated: 3:48 p.m
Authorities in northern Minnesota say they’re unsure what caused a bright flash and “incredibly loud explosion” that rocked buildings across the region Monday evening.
Initial speculation was that it could be a meteorite, but officials and experts said Tuesday that further analysis of the evidence suggests that may not be the case.
Beltrami County Emergency Management Director Christopher Mueller reported that the incident occurred around 6:40 p.m. Mueller told MPR News on Tuesday that he was among the Bemidji area residents who heard the incident. He had just returned home from walking his dog when the explosion occurred.
His dog was outside “and I was finishing up some errands around the house and suddenly I heard a very loud bang. The sound was so loud that it actually shook the windows of my house. “About two seconds later, the dog was at the door trying to break in because it scared him so bad,” Mueller said.
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The explosion set off a wave of 911 calls to the Beltrami County dispatch center. The flash of light and subsequent explosion were reportedly seen or heard in the Bagley and Blackduck areas as well. Bagley is located about 20 miles west of Bemidji. Blackdock is located about 20 miles northeast.
Sheriff’s deputies and police officers began checking the area after the explosion.
“We have inspected all the power substations; “No power outages were reported, which you would expect if it was a transformer or a substation or something like that — but we haven’t received any reports of that,” Mueller said.
Mueller also said the speed of light and the volume of sound were much greater than that caused by Air Force planes that sometimes fly over the area from Grand Forks, and ND Weather’s radar detected nothing unusual over Bemidji at the time of the explosion. .
There were no reports of damage or injuries.
A resident of the Nemours section of Bemidji shared home surveillance video capturing the explosion. District authorities shared this video with the public. They also shared a second video from Bemidji Regional Airport showing the flash of light streaming across the sky; The second video does not include the sound of the explosion.
The cause of the flash and boom remained unclear as of Tuesday afternoon.
In an update, Mueller said experts examined both surveillance videos and “determined that the object was too horizontal to indicate it was a meteorite.”
Robert Lunsford is the Fireball Report coordinator with the American Meteor Society, which collects reports on meteor sightings across the country. He told MPR News that there are a few active meteor showers underway, but the timing between the flash and the sound in Bemidji seems to make a meteor unlikely.
“It could be a meteorite, but… at an altitude of 25 miles, it takes at least 30 seconds for the sound to naturally reach Earth depending on how far away it is from the observer,” he said. “So the three-second difference between the flash and the sound (in the Bemidji incident) Leads me to believe it was something much closer.”
The association has been collecting reports of meteor sightings for nearly 20 years, Lunsford said.
“The reason we’re really interested in tracking these fireballs is because they source material from outer space,” he said. “We used these reports to track down some of the meteorites that fell to Earth.”
Back in Minnesota, Mueller said in his Tuesday afternoon update that the county appreciated “the assistance we received from federal agencies and the scientific (community) in ruling out what was not the case. (Local officials) will continue to provide any subsequent information obtained.” Fact That this was seen and heard across such a large area is a mystery. what was?”