BENGALURU: It was a big bang that shook Bengaluru on Wednesday afternoon and many theories floated around it. From an earthquake to a transformer burst, thunderstorm to the sonic boom caused by a supersonic aircraft, breaking the sound barrier. It was around 1.30pm that the sound was heard across the city from Kempegowda International Airport off Devanahalli in the north to Kengeri and Electronic City in the South.
The bang seemed to be a sonic boom, finally! The moment people heard the ‘thundering’ sound, they quickly posted it on social media. And it became the talk of the town. Speaking to TNIE, Joy, Founder of Sarjapur Resident Welfare Association, said, “Around 1.30 pm, we heard a loud sound. I felt it was just outside my house and it was very scary.
I posted a message on residents’ groups and most said they too heard it. There is a quarry closeby and we thought it could be the sound of a blast we heard. However, we realised it wasn’t so as people from other localities also heard the same.” Many people feared it could be a mild tremor as doors and windows rattled after the noise. But the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) ruled out any possibility of an earthquake. It said that the seismometers did not capture any ground vibration as generally happens during a mild tremor.
It was routine IAF test flight, says Defence Ministry official
“Earthquake activity will not be restricted to one area. We have checked our sensors and there is no earthquake activity recorded today,” said Srinivas Reddy, Director of KSNDMC. There was even speculation that it is might be due to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) conducting regular flight tests of light combat aircraft (LCA). However Gopal Sutar, HAL spokesperson said, “HAL aircraft or test flights have nothing to do with today’s sound in Bengaluru.” Puncturing the various theories, the PRO, Bengaluru, Ministry of Defence tweeted,
“It was a routine IAF Test Flight involving a supersonic profile which took off from Bluru Airport and flew in the allotted airspace well outside City limits.” The tweet said, “The aircraft was of Aircraft Systems and Testing Establishment (ASTE) whose Test Pilots & Flight Test Engineers routinely test out all aeroplanes. The sonic boom was probably heard while the aircraft was decelerating from supersonic to subsonic speed between 36,000 and 40000 feet altitude. The aircraft was far away from the city limits when this occurred. The sound of a sonic boom can be heard and felt by an observer even when the aircraft is flying as far away as 65 to 80 kilometres away from the person.”