Security alert on Air India plane which caused Derbyshire sonic boom initially reported as 'bomb threat'

A security alert on an Air India plane which led to two RAF jets being scrambled to the scene causing a 'sonic boom' across Derbyshire was initially reported as a bomb threat.

Thursday, 27th June 2019, 3:51 pm
RAF Typhoon, caption PHIL NOBLE/AFP/Getty Images

Residents reported hearing a 'loud bang' just before 10am this morning and said homes were 'shaking' and many car alarms were sounding.

The Air India Boeing 777 from Mumbai to Newark had to be diverted to London Stansted Airport.

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The incident was initially reported as a 'bomb threat' by Air India on Twitter but the tweet was then deleted. The tweet read: "Mumbai-Newark 27.06.19 has made a precautionary landing at London Stansted Airport due to a bomb threat."

The incident was later confirmed to be a 'security alert' on the plane rather than a bomb threat and the sonic boom was caused by the RAF jets travelling to the scene.

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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."

A spokesperson for 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."

And a spokesperson for London Stansted Airport said: "An Air India Boeing 777 diverted into London Stanstead Airport at approximately 10.15am and landed safely with Essex Police in attendance.

"It is parked on an isolated stand away from the normal airport operations.

"Our runway has now re-opened and is fully operational. We are very sorry for any delays and disruption caused by the incident, but our first priority is always the safety of passengers and staff."

Earlier Derbyshire police tweeted: "If you heard a loud bang over Derbyshire today, this was as a result of a Royal Air Force jet passing over that caused a sonic boom."

"And Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service tweeted: "Loud bangs that could be heard across Derby and and parts of Derbyshire are being attributed to a sonic boom caused by a low flying aircraft."