LONDON: British fighter jets escorted a private aircraft into London’s Stansted Airport after it lost communications with the ground on Tuesday, sparking alarm after they broke the sound barrier in response to the incident.

People from London to Cambridge, about 65 miles north of the capital, reported on social media hearing what sounded like an explosion or large blast which had shaken houses.

“The RAF can confirm Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft were launched this afternoon from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian aircraft that had lost communications,” a Royal Air Force spokesman said.

“Subsequently, communications were re-established, the aircraft was intercepted and safely escorted to Stansted. The Typhoon aircraft were authourised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons.” Stansted, London’s third biggest airport located to the northeast of the capital, confirmed the private jet landed safely just before 1340 GMT.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2021

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