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Sonic boom heard in Queens, Nassau County attributed to low-flying military planes: officials

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QUEENS  — A "loud boom" and shaking felt across eastern Queens and Nassau County Wednesday afternoon were caused by two military aircraft flying over the area, which generated a sonic boom.

Countless people reported hearing a massive explosion in the Five Towns, Lynbrook, Elmont, Jamaica and other communities, according to officials and dozens of tweets beginning about 2:20 p.m.

Some compared it to an earthquake; the U.S. Geological Survey showed no indication one occurred.

Two military F-22 jets in the area caused the sound of an explosion, NYPD later tweeted. No explosion occurred.

A low-flying military plane caused the noise, the Oceanside Fire Department also posted on Facebook.

The department previously tweeted that the noise was caused by Air Force One's military escort coming into JFK Airport. The tweet was deleted within about 10 minutes.

Early on, Nassau County police confirmed the department had received "a lot" of calls from concerned residents

A sonic boom is a loud, thunder-like explosive noise caused by the shock wave from an aircraft traveling faster than the speed of sound, according to the USGS.


On January 28,  tremors shook south New Jersey and other parts of the East Coast, causing a similar frenzy of speculation before it was determined to have been a sonic boom, caused by a Navy jet.