Essex 'explosion' was 'sonic boom' caused by military aircraft

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image captionTwo Typhoon fighter jets escorted a Jet2 flight into Stansted Airport earlier (stock photo)

A loud bang heard across Essex was a sonic boom caused by military aircraft, police have said.

Residents reported feeling their houses "shaking" after a "loud explosion" that was heard in Harlow, Epping, Chelmsford and Stansted at about 18:40 BST.

The sound sparked a large number of 999 calls, according to police.

Stansted Airport said two RAF Typhoon jets had escorted a Jet2 flight in to land because of a disruptive passenger on board.

A 25-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of assault and endangering an aircraft.

The plane was en route to Dalaman in Turkey when it was redirected back to Stansted, an airline spokeswoman said.

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In a statement, Essex Police said: "We were made aware of a disruptive passenger on an inbound flight to Stansted this evening.

"There is a possibility that residents nearby may have heard a loud noise, often associated with a sonic boom, as the aircraft descended into Stansted airspace."

The Jet2 spokeswoman said: "We are aware of an incident regarding an extremely disruptive passenger on a flight from Stansted to Dalaman earlier this evening.

"The aircraft has returned safely and we are liaising with the relevant authorities to support their investigation.

"We are working hard to ensure the remaining customers reach their destination as soon possible."

The incident led to minor delays for other flights.

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