Sonic boom heard across east London, Essex and Cambridge

Image of two Typhoon FGR4 aircraft, flown by 29 (R) Squadron from RAF Coningsby.The Typhoon in the

Two Typhoon aircraft were dispatched to escort a private plane to Stansted Airport. - Credit: UK MOD © Crown copyright 2018

A sonic boom was the cause of a loud explosion sound across London, Essex and Cambridge this afternoon.

Cambridge City Council have confirmed it was caused by a low-flying fighter jet.

The loud bang reached as far west as north London, with a large number of reports from east London and Essex.

A sonic boom is created when an object moves through air faster than the speed of sound, 767mph, which the jet first surpassed near Peterborough.


Sam Harrison captured the sonic boom on his Ring doorbell camera in Hornchurch.


"At first I thought it was either an explosion or an earthquake, I ran outside expecting to see a lot of smoke."

The RAF confirmed that two jets were ordered to intercept a private plane.


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The aircraft was travelling from Germany and had lost communication with air traffic controllers.

It was diverted to Stansted Airport by the Typhoon jets, which took off from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, breaking the sound barrier at 750mph.

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An RAF spokesperson said: "The RAF can confirm Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft were launched this afternoon from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian aircraft that had lost communications; subsequently, communications were re-established, the aircraft was intercepted and safely escorted to Stansted.

"The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons."

Typhoons are often deployed to escort aircraft that lose contact with air traffic control or don't respond to communications.

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