North Londoners awoken by RAF jets’ sonic boom in early hours of Sunday morning

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

Image of two Typhoon FGR4 aircraft, flown by 29 (R) Squadron from RAF Coningsby. The Typhoon in the foreground (bottom) can been seen with the RAF 100 colours painted on its tail, to commemorate the Royal Air Force Centenary Celebrations. Picture: Sgt Paul Oldfield - Credit: Ministry of Defence

Thousands of north Londoners were dramatically woken up in the early hours of this morning by a loud bang caused by a sonic boom.

The thunderclap at around 4.15am shook houses as people tweeted that it sounded like an "explosion" or an "earthquake." It was heard across the area, including in Hampstead, St John's Wood, East Finchley and Golders Green.

One of those that heard it was Graham Kirk, who tweeted: "Heard the sound of an explosion at 4.20 here in East Finchley reported widely across London possily[sic] a sonic jet boom???"

Locals in counties to the north of the capital also reported being roused by the loud bang.

According to the Metropolitan Police the noise was caused by two RAF Typhoon jets which were being scrambled to respond to a airliner which had lost radio contact.


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A sonic boom is caused when aircraft break the speed of sound. The air in front of the plane's nose builds up a pressure front as it has nowhere to escape, creating a large bang when it does so.

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