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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 9 April, 2003, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Homes shaken by sonic boom
fighter jet breaks the sound barrier
An FA18 Hornet was photographed breaking the sound barrier in 1999
Homes in Lincolnshire have been shaken by a sonic boom.

Residents in Louth, Sutton-on-Sea and Grimsby called police on Tuesday night believing they had experienced an earthquake.

But a seismologist at the British Geological Survey told BBC News Online that no tremors had been detected by their equipment, which monitors earthquakes in the British Isles.

An RAF spokesman later confirmed the noise was a sonic boom caused military aircraft.

Four American F15 Eagles were involved in bombing practice in the Donna Nook area shortly after 2100 BST.

Homes shaken

The RAF apologised for the disturbances and said they believed the noises were caused by jets pulling away from their targets, rather than dropping anything on the range.

Earth tremors and sonic booms both cause loud bangs and can shake windows and homes.

Many people came out of their homes after feeling the "sonic boom" - which some people reported lasted for up to 15 seconds.

People did automatically think was that a bomb - but it was just an act of God
Inspector Jim Keenan, Lincolnshire Police
However, no damage has been reported following the incident.

Inspector Jim Keenan, from Lincolnshire Police, told BBC Radio Lincolnshire: "We have had several calls all saying the same thing of people hearing a loud bang and then feeling the housing shake."

He said people who contacted them wanted to make sure the noise was nothing to do with the war on Iraq.

"People did automatically think: 'Was that a bomb?' - but it was just an act of God."

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29 Oct 01  |  England

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