SHOCKED residents have taken to social media after hearing a sonic boom go off in the skies above Essex.

A large bang was heard across parts of Essex including Colchester, Chelmsford and Basildon this afternoon.

The noise was also heard in parts of London and Cambridgeshire.

The sonic boom is thought to have been caused by an aircraft flyng overhead. 

Royal Air Force Typhoons launched from RAF Coningsby at about 1pm this afternoon.

An RAF spokesperson said: “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; subsequently, communications were re-established, the aircraft was intercepted and safely escorted to Stansted.

“The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons.”

Read more about what happened here. 

Dozens of shocked residents have taken to social media to say they heard the sonic boom.

Some have reported their homes were shaken by the noise. 

Cambridge City Council tweeted: "If you heard a massively loud bang over Cambridge in the last few minutes, don't panic - apparently it was the sonic boom from a fighter plane breaking the sound barrier!"

One Epping Forest councillor posted this video of the boom on Twitter:

TV Star Rylan Clark-Neal posted on Twitter after hearing the noise.

Residents also took to Twitter to express their shock.

Did you hear the sonic boom?

Let us know in the comments below.