A sonic boom caused by military aircraft flying over the county was heard by several residents within the district last night.

Stansted Airport confirmed two RAF Typhoon jets had escorted a Jet2 flight into land because of a disruptive passenger on board at around 6.40pm, Saturday, June 22.

Several people from Loughton, Chigwell, Debden and Epping took to social media saying the loud bang caused homes to shake, fearing an explosion had occurred.

Jayne Bensusan Barry, posted on Facebook saying: “Literally grabbed the baby from the garden and legged it. The house shook, our neighbours windows sucked inwards and back out again.

“I was convinced it was a terror attack at Stansted it was that loud. Absolutely terrifying.”

Lee English, said the noise “sounded like a muffled shotgun”.

“Heard in Loughton kids were convinced it was a gun, I’ve worked at Stansted and I said it was a sonic boom from an aircraft, it went directly over us which is the flight path Ryanair’s take,” she said.

Mike Osborne, benefit officer at Epping Forest District Council, said: “My wife and myself were in the middle of building a greenhouse when we heard the bang.

“I thought it was going to bring the greenhouse down again.”

Chloe Robinson from Loughton said: “Last time I heard such a loud bang there was a gas explosion in Loughton.

“This was over 15 years ago, our whole house shook and scared the living daylights out of us. All is OK.”

The plane was en route to Dalaman in Turkey when it was redirected back to Stansted, causing minor delays for other flights, an airline spokeswoman said.

Essex Police received a surge of 999 calls reporting the loud noise, which was heard as far as Brentwood, Harlow, Cambridge and Bishop’s Stortford.

A statement from Essex Police said: “We were made aware of a disruptive passenger on an inbound flight to Stansted on Saturday, 22 June.

“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.

“Officers attended and arrested a 25-year-old woman on suspicion of two assaults and endangering an aircraft.

“She remains in custody.”

Sonic booms are caused when military typhoons fly so fast they break the sound barrier, causing the sound to be mistaken for an explosion.

These types of aircraft are authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons.