Jorge Lopez, director of the health department in the state of Puno, said 200 people have suffered headaches, nausea and respiratory problems caused by "toxic" fumes from the resulting crater, which is about 66 feet wide and 16 feet deep. "This is caused by the gas they have inhaled after the crash. We ourselves went near the crater and now we've got irritated throats and itching noses", Mr Lopez said. Link
But expert Ursula Marvin cast doubt on the theory, saying: "It wouldn't be the meteorite itself, but the dust it raises." A meteorite "wouldn't get much gas out of the earth," said Ms Marvin, who has studied them since 1961 at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Massachusetts. "It's a very superficial thing."