© Steve Hooks Steve Hooks caught the 'fireball' on camera
The East Lancashire sky lit up briefly under the glare of a huge falling fireball last night — sparking fears of a 'plane crash or the end of the world'!

The large meteor was spotted by several residents at around 10.10pm as it fell over the north west on what was a clear, crisp night.

Denise Kennedy-Scott was in her garden close to Blackburn Rugby Club when she spotted the fireball.

She said: "I was looking across the field and looked up to see what looked like a white shooting star to start with, but as it got closer — and it was moving slowly — it got bigger and bigger.

"It had a long white tail and then it burst into flames and disappeared across the sky over Ramsgreave.

"It did not make any sense at all. I have never seen anything like it before in my life.

"It was quite scary really. I thought the world was coming to an end or a plane was breaking up."

It was only when Denise logged on to her computer she realised what the phenomenon was, and discovered several other people had spotted it too.

Indeed, the Lancashire Telegraph received several calls from residents asking us to investigate what they had seen.

Star-gazers who witnessed the fireball's blaze of glory above their heads logged on to the Armagh Observatory's website to report what they had seen.

People from as far away as Glasgow, Belfast, Staffordshire, and Wales were among those who all reported the fireball at the same time.

Richard Kacerek, co-founder at the UK Meteor Observation Network, said they had received 18 reports by yesterday afternoon.

He said: "This particular fireball was captured by at least two of our cameras in Ireland and possibly by a third.

"It was not as bright as a full moon but it was close, and it was much brighter than Venus, which is usually the brightest object in the sky.