Thursday, June 27, 2019

Derby 'explosion': Sonic boom across city as RAF Typhoons intercept Air India flight

A large sonic boom was heard by thousands of people in Derby this morning sparking fears of an earthquake.

Two RAF Typhoons escorted Air India B777 Flight 191 to London Stansted after what was initially called a bomb threat and the two incidents are thought to be linked.

The passenger plane had been heading from Mumbai to Newark. It is not known how many passengers were on board.

There were reports that windows and buildings in Derby shook from the blast shortly before 10am today.

An RAF spokesman said: "The RAF can confirm QRA Typhoons were launched this morning from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian ac [aircraft].

"The ac was escorted to Stansted. The Typhoons transited at supersonic speed for operational reasons; any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted.”

Air India tweeted that a bomb threat had prompted the landing but later deleted the tweet, calling the incident a "security threat". It later confirmed that it was a hoax bomb threat.

Derbyshire Police asked those with information to call 999 before telling Mirror Online that the sound was a 'sonic boom' and referring further enquiries to the RAF.

On Twitter it initially speculated the loud blast may have been an earthquake or a 'pressure wave'.

A spokeswoman for Derbyshire Police said the force had determined the sound was caused by the passing of large aircraft overhead and the force had no cause for concern.

A statement from Essex Police said: “An aircraft was diverted to Stansted Airport at around 9.50am today following reports of a security alert.

"The plane is currently at the airport and officers are making enquiries.”

Derby resident Hannah Watts said: “The bang was really loud - it scared my cat enough to make him run and hide under my bed.

“It rumbled the ground.”

One person wrote on Twitter: "Massive bang here in Derby. God knows what it was. May have been earthquake. But it was a bloody big bang".
27/06/19 Tom DavidsonSenior/Talia Shadwell/Mirror

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