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Meteor shower sparks 999 calls over ‘aircraft crash’

REPORTS of a plane ‘crashing’ over Devon prompted an emergency response yesterday — to what turned out to be a meteor shower.

Police despatched aerial and ground search units following ‘dozens’ of 999 calls about a possible light aircraft crash.

Hundreds of reports on social media also described ‘glowing objects’ falling from the sky.

But what they had seen was probably the result of a meteor breaking apart, according to police.

Insp John Shuttleworth, Devon and Cornwall force incident manager, said two police aircraft were sent out to search the sky in the Tavistock area but found nothing ‘visible’ such as smoke, fire or debris.

‘We are as satisfied as we can be that this has not been a light aircraft crash and no persons have been injured,’ he said.

‘There have also been reports from the Cardiff and Dorset areas of people watching meteor showers across the south-west.’ He added there were no recorded flights in the area. The decision to ‘stand down’ the search was made at 8.15am.