SECAUCUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The operations foreman at a waste water treatment plant in Secaucus, New Jersey believes a piece of debris fell from the sky onto the facility Wednesday.
Steve Bronowich said the unidentified debris hit two pieces of equipment at the plant on Koelle Boulevard.
“It bounced off one and hit another one,” Bronowich told 1010 WINS.
Two workers were walking by at the time of the incident, Bronowich said.
“It shook the guys up a little bit because, quite frankly, if it would’ve hit them, it would’ve killed them,” he said.
“It was pretty loud. It was a pretty loud bang and we looked up and something was flipping in the air,” plant worker Vic Suppa told CBS 2’s Dick Brennan.
The item didn’t look familiar, so Bronowich and others went online and believe the piece looks like a heat tile from the space shuttle.
“What they show online for a space shuttle tile, it’s a little thicker than what we actually have here, but it certainly looks like it,” Bronowich said. “I don’t know if it’s actually a tile, but I know it did come out of the sky.”
The Secaucus Police Department said they don’t know anything about it and have received no call.
“It does look like a tile that comes from a space craft. It has no radioactive readings coming off it,” Hudson Regional Health Commissioner Carlos Rodriguez said.
The health commission has promised a full investigation, Brennan reported.
The Federal Aviation Administration told 1010 WINS they have not received a report of debris falling from the sky in New Jersey.
In an email to 1010 WINS, a NASA spokesperson said “it’s extremely unlikely this object is related to the space shuttle” because “we have not flown the space shuttle since 2011, we had a highly accurate accounting of the tiles, and this does not appear to be a tile.” Each tile received a unique number printed on it and they were much thicker, according to the statement.
Workers at the plant say even though it is a treatment plant, they are actually surrounded by wildlife and have faced some other hazards.
“We had a turkey, couple of foxes, snapping turtles, couple of snakes, ground hogs,” Bronowich said. “We’ve been dropped on by seagulls, crabs, they fly over, they drop the remains of the crab. One of my guys got hit in the head with it. Dive-bombing seagulls.”
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