Sonic boom heard in three counties 'broke windows' and prompted deluge of emergency calls
The Ministry of Defence said it was caused when the jets were responding to another aircraft which lost communication
Oliver Duggan has a BA in Politics and Parliamentary Studies from the University of Leeds and an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City University London. He works as a freelance reporter and editorial assistant for The Independent and i with a focus on Home Affairs and politics.
Monday 17 June 2013
A sonic boom – caused by a jet breaking the sound barrier – has been identified as the source of a “loud explosion” that broke windows in Cambridgeshire on Saturday.
The noise, which could be heard in Essex and Hertfordshire, occurred at 11:30am. The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the damage was caused by a Typhoon fighter from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire that was responding to a loss of communication with a passenger plane bound for Heathrow.
Air traffic controllers became concerned when the commercial plane, travelling from the US, failed to respond to radio transmissions. Communication was later re-established and the aircraft landed without incident.
Inspector Matt Snow of Cambridgeshire Police told the BBC: “We've had reports of windows being smashed. One man who rang us from St Ives thought something had hit his roof because the whole house shook.
"It was so loud another person thought his neighbour's house had blown up. People have said they'd never heard anything so loud in their lives. Even people driving on the A14 have been calling us."
Local residents rushed to social-networking sites to express their concern. Kerry Louise Shinn, from Cambridge, wrote: “We heard it in Upper Cambourne, thought it was a plane crash at Bourne airfield at first. The house shook like mad, scaring my 4 girls and I.”
The phenomenon is caused when an aircraft approaches the speed of sound (768 mph). Air pressure, which builds up at the noise of the plane, is forced to escape, creating a ‘thunderclap’ that travels over huge distances the wake of the jet.
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 3 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Isis 'throw man off a building for homosexual affair' and beat him to death when he survives
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...