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Sonic boom from Typhoon jets creates big bang in Cirencester, Bath and Swindon

Britain's new fighter jet, The Typhoon, flies through sky during a past military exercise Photo: Reuters

Did you hear a big bang last night? If you felt your house shake or heard something that sounded like an explosion - it was a sonic boom created by two typhoon jets that were responding to an emergency.

Avon and Somerset Police were told of reports of a big bang at 6.15pm last night. The typhoon jets were responding to a civilian aircraft, that was giving out emergency frequencies, normally used when a plane is hijacked or in need of help. It turned out to be a false alarm.

What is 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.

MOD responds to news of sonic boom Credit: Reuters

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.

– – MINISTRY OF DEFENCE

Our correspondent Ken Goodwin reports on how the west country reacted to the sonic boom.