Big bang theories rock county

By IH 13/04 Updated: 13/04 08:41

Buy photos » An RAF Typhoon was responsible for Warwickshire's big bang. (s)

A SONIC boom gave people across Warwickshire a start on Thursday evening.

The massive bang was heard across the county around 6.10pm prompting a flood of calls to emergency services.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed it was caused by two Typhoon aircraft responding to an emergency after being scrambled from an RAF base in Lincolnshire.

An MoD spokesman said the jets were responding to a civilian helicopter which was transmitting on a frequency it should not have been using, but the error was realised too late.

The spokesman added the fighter planes had been authorised to go supersonic and were already on their way to the helicopter.

He said: "We can confirm that a small civilian aircraft was transmitting inadvertently on an emergency frequency at approximately 1810.

"Two typhoons from the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) responded accordingly and authorisation was given from them to go supersonic, which resulted in the sonic boom. There was no actual threat to the civilian aircraft and they soon rectified their mistake."

Police initially suggested the bang was the result of a minor earth tremor, something immediately ruled out by the British Geological Survey which had no seismic records to indicate a tremor had struck.

People across Coventry and Warwickshire were quick to speculate on Twitter, with theories ranging from bombs to earthquakes, until the MoD confirmed it had been a sonic boom.

A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shockwaves created when an object travels through the air and breaks the sound barrier. The noise contains large amounts of sound energy, meaning sonic booms are often mistaken for explosions.

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