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.
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 4 Amy Schumer: 'I'm 160lbs and can catch a d**k any time I want'
- 5 Isis executes three gay men by dangling them from top of 100ft building and letting go
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
Amy Schumer: 'I'm 160lbs and can catch a d**k any time I want'
Isis executes three gay men by dangling them from top of 100ft building and letting go
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...
£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...