More mystery ‘explosions’ in Highgate baffle experts

10:00 10 April 2014

Will Wheatcroft heard another loud bang on Monday night at 10pm. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Will Wheatcroft heard another loud bang on Monday night at 10pm. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email

Noise experts are scratching their heads over mysterious “explosions” in Highgate – after dozens of residents reported hearing 
another loud bang this week.

Online readers’ poll: What could be causing the explosions?

Faulty substation – 18%

UFOs – 18%

Basement or building works – 12%

Sonic booms – 12%

Bomb – 12%

Gas explosions – 6%

Children playing with bangers – 6% Weather phenomenon – 6%

Fireworks – 6%

Other – 6%

People living in the Shepherd’s Hill and Archway Road area of Highgate said they heard a loud explosion noise – similar to a bomb or gas explosion – just 
before 10pm on Monday.

Last week, the Ham&High reported that residents in Highgate have been hearing the loud booming sounds for about 18 months.

Officers from Haringey Council’s noise team are investigating but the local authority has been left baffled by the phenomenon.

Will Wheatcroft, 31, said he heard the latest “very loud explosion” while sitting on the sofa with his fiancée Stephanie in his Stanhope Road home.

“Really it sounded like a car bomb or a gas explosion,” he said. “It made us turn around and say, ‘What the hell was that?’

“I expected to hear sirens a few minutes afterwards, but there weren’t any. After reading the Ham&High, I can now understand why, because it happens a lot.”

Residents in Muswell Hill and Crouch End have also reported hearing the noises, that are said to be so loud they shake the foundations of their homes.

One Twitter user reported hearing another loud bang on Tuesday night at about 10pm in Crouch End. A couple in Priory Gardens, Highgate, have contacted Haringey police about the sounds.

Ruled out

But after a short investigation a spokesman advised residents to alert the council’s noise team 
instead, unless it is an emergency.

The National Grid has ruled out gas explosions in the area while UK Power Networks said the bangs could not be caused by an electrical substation in Shepherd’s Hill Allotments.

The Met Office said there was no thunder or lightning on Monday night and Thames Water said the noises could not be caused by sewer repairs in Langdon Park Road and Northwood Road, Highgate. Haringey Council restricts building works to working hours, TfL is not carrying out explosive works at Highgate Underground station, Archway Road.

Mr Wheatcroft speculated it could be sonic booms caused by aeroplanes breaking the sound barrier. But a spokesman from the Department of Transport said they would be heard across a much larger distance if they were the source.

A council spokesman said it could be “kids with bangers” playing in Queen’s Wood, Muswell Hill, but none of the council’s noise team officers had a probable explanation for the explosions.

The local authority will now work with Haringey police to try and identify their source.

In an online poll, Ham&High website voters thought the noises were most likely caused by a faulty substation or UFOs.

n Residents should report blasts to Haringey Council’s noise team on 020 8489 0000.


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