Sonic boom rattles southwest UK as Typhoon jets intercept airliner

UK emergency services were inundated with reports of a large explosion after two supersonic fighter jets were deployed to escort an airliner into UK airspace following a threat on board
Image illustrative only.
Image illustrative only.

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Police officials in the UK were inundated with emergency calls over the weekend after millions of people in the south west of the country heard what they believed to be a loud explosion.

Police in Stortfod took to Twitter to confirm that the ‘explosion’ everyone heard was actually a sonic boom from two passing aircraft.

It was later revealed by UK authorities that the jets had been deployed to escort a Jet2 airliner back into UK airspace after a passenger was reported as making threats on-board.

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The plane had taken off from Stanstead Airport en route to Dalaman in Turkey when a 25-year-old passenger was reported as being disruptive and threatening.

She was arrested on suspicion of assault and endangering an aircraft after the plane landed in London.

Residents reported feeling their houses "shaking" after a "loud explosion" that was heard in Harlow, Epping, Chelmsford and Stansted at about 18:40 BST.

The sound sparked a large number of 999 calls, according to police.

Stansted Airport confirmed two RAF Typhoon jets had escorted the Jet2 flight in to land.

In a statement, Essex Police said: "We were made aware of a disruptive passenger on an inbound flight to Stansted this evening.

"There is a possibility that residents nearby may have heard a loud noise, often associated with a sonic boom, as the aircraft descended into Stansted airspace."

This is what the sonic boom sounded like according to one Twitter user.

The Jet2 spokeswoman said: "We are aware of an incident regarding an extremely disruptive passenger on a flight from Stansted to Dalaman earlier this evening.

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"The aircraft has returned safely and we are liaising with the relevant authorities to support their investigation.

"We are working hard to ensure the remaining customers reach their destination as soon possible."

The incident led to minor delays for other flights.

A similar incident occurred in May, 2016 when the RAF scrambled Typhoon jets to intercept an airliner over Doncaster, it had lost radio contact during its descent into Newcastle.

People from across Doncaster and as far afield as York and Leeds reported hearing the massive 'explosions'.

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