The southern metropolis of Bengaluru was today sent into a tizzy after large parts of the city were rocked with the mysterious sound of “boom”. Subsequently, social media was rife with videos of the incident as people started speculating the cause of the grating sound. Many netizens conjectured that the loud inexplicable noise that they heard in Bengaluru could be of a sonic boom.
Now, the Indian Air Force has issued a muted clarification, confirming that it was an IAF fighter jet going supersonic that caused the boom over Bengaluru today. IAF said that while jets fly at supersonic speeds beyond city limits, the noise was heard in the city due to reduced noise levels caused by the lockdown, as well the weather condition.
JUST IN: Statement from IAF confirms it was an IAF fighter jet going supersonic that caused the boom over Bengaluru today. pic.twitter.com/rUYPqHBbya— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) May 20, 2020
“No aircraft of Training Command was flying in the area. However, ASTE and HAL could have been undertaking their routine test flying, which necessitates going supersonic at times. These are done well beyond the city limits in specified sectors,” the statement released by the IAF read.
The statement further added, “However, considering the atmospheric conditions and reduced levels of noise levels in the city during these times, the aircraft sound may become clearly audible even if it happened way out of the city.”
In a subsequent tweet, journalist Shiv Aroor also stated that the language used by the IAF in its clarification is the closest categorical confirmation that one can elicit on a sensitive issue like this.
Sonic boom in Bengaluru
Earlier today, Bengaluru witnessed a loud sound akin to that of a huge crash was heard in large swathes of the city at around 1:20 PM in the afternoon. Several citizens who felt their window panes vibrating and building shaking made panic-stricken call to police describing the strange incident. Others took to social media to express their shock and bewilderment about the incident.
The sonic boom is a sound which is created when an object moves faster than the speed of the sound. When a supersonic jet accelerates and crosses the speed of the sound, it creates shock waves, which creates a very loud boom noise. The shock waves also cause windows and other objects in the vicinity to the shack, which can be a frightening experience, and due to which people may mistake it for an earthquake.
Due to this reason, generally, planes are not allowed to go supersonic over residential areas, but sometimes they need to do it, and today’s incident can be one such occasion. It may be noted that there is air force base near Bengaluru, and the fighter planes routinely fly from that base. As speculated, such a fighter plane, most probably a Mirage 2000, caused the sonic boom today afternoon over the Karnataka capital.