‘Enormous explosion’ heard over London caused by sonic boom

A sonic boom has been felt over London and the rest of the south east today, with alarmed residents reporting an explosion or an “enormous bang.”

The noise cleared the skies just after 1pm (January 12), with people from south London, Essex and Cambridgeshire reporting hearing an explosion of some kind.

Dozens have taken to social media to share their alarm and confusion, with one person in Chelmsford describing their whole home shaking.

Social reports have compared to the noise to a gas explosion, or a thunderstorm.

In south east London, one woman tweeted: “Has there been some sort of explosion in Deptford? Just felt enormous bang whilst walking along the river in Greenwich and saw smoke.”

Debbie Read wrote: “I thought my next door neighbours were gonna come flying through the wall. So scary!”

It is thought that the boom came from an RAF Typhoon travelling over Cambridge and headed south just after 1pm, breaking the sound barrier as it flew.

Cambridge City Council tweeted: “If you heard a massively loud bang over Cambridge in the last few minutes, don’t panic – apparently it was the sonic boom from a fighter plane breaking the sound barrier!”


One Twitter user said: “Very loud here in southeast Cambridge – thought at first it was thunder or even a gas explosion – a very bright contrail heading south.”

Another person tweeted: “Yep – Hit here in Epping rattling windows. Sent all the birds into the air.”

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