Many children grow up hearing the story of Henny Penny, usually called Chicken Little in the United States. A recurring phrase in the story is ‘The sky is falling!’ The moral of the tale is that you shouldn’t be worried that disaster is imminent. That is all well and good, but for a woman in India, the sky did fall, and it was disgusting.
Rajrani Gaud, a 60-year-old from the district of Sagar, in Madhya Pradesh, was going about her daily routine. For the widowed mother of three, her life mainly consists of keeping up the house and visiting with her neighbors. She was in the midst of cleaning when a football-size chunk of ice tore through her roof and slammed into her shoulder. She was knocked to the ground and immediately began screaming due to the pain.
Rajrani’s neighbors were less than thirty feet from where the ice ball entered her roof and quickly ran to her aid. She was taken to a local hospital and received treatment for a dislocated shoulder. According to eyewitnesses, right before the ice hit Gaud’s roof, it caught the edge of a neighboring terrace, which changed its flight path. Doctors suggested that without this last second deflection, the frozen block would likely have hit the elderly woman in the head and killed her.
A Delhi-based aviation expert, who specializes in ‘blue ice,’ alerted the Director Generals of Civil Aviation and the India Meteorological Department after hearing about the incident from friends. Bimal Kumar Srivastava, the aviation expert, believes that the ice chunk was the result of a commercial airplane releasing human waste during a flight. The feces and urine subsequently froze due to the combination of high altitude and cold temperatures. The blue-tint of the water in an airplane toilet gives the frozen sewage its name. While such globs of excrement usually thaw before reaching the ground, there have been multiple confirmed incidents of ‘blue ice’ striking unsuspecting people in India. While the government agencies are still conducting their investigation, if a commercial airline was responsible for the ice chunk, Gaud will receive compensation. This is the second case so far in 2016 of an Indian citizen behind hit by a falling object. In February, a bus driver was struck and killed by a meteorite.