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Latvians not laughing after meteorite hoax

Latvians not laughing after meteorite hoax

A Swedish mobile phone company has apologised after staging a PR stunt in which it created a 10-metre wide meteorite crater in the Latvian countryside, sparking a media frenzy.Rescue workers,…

A Swedish mobile phone company has apologised after staging a PR stunt in which it created a 10-metre wide meteorite crater in the Latvian countryside, sparking a media frenzy.

Rescue workers, scientists and media flocked to a small field in the northern Latvian township of Mazsalaca , where the meteorite had seemingly "crashed" before tests revealed the crater was a fake.

A spokesperson from the telco, Tele2, said the hoax had been designed "to draw attention away from Latvia's economic crisis and toward something else more interesting," reported the Associated Press.

However, Latvian authorities were not amused by the stunt, with the country's Interior Minster, Linda Murnieve, declaring the government would tear up any contracts they had with the company, as they did not "want to do business with a firm that promotes itself at our expense".

Local police were also reportedly planning to launch a formal investigation into the hoax, which could see criminal charges laid against the phone company.

The phone company has now promised to reimburse any costs incurred by the government for the police, emergency services and scientists sent to investigate the hoax.

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