BREAKING: The ‘explosion’ that shook the ground in DC explained with statement from NORAD – [UPDATED]

Earlier today there was rumor about an ‘explosion’ in Washington DC after residents there felt the ground shake after hearing a loud boom.

But it turns out there was no explosion at all. NORAD just issued this statement explaining what happened:

Twitter truncated the statement but here it is below:

“In coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, NORAD F-16 fighter aircraft responded to an unresponsive Cessna 560 Citation V aircraft over Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia on June 4, 2023.

The NORAD aircraft were authorized to travel at supersonic speeds and a sonic boom may have been heard by residents of the region.

During this event, the NORAD aircraft also used flares – which may have been visible to the public – in an attempt to draw attention from the pilot. Flares are employed with highest regard for safety of the intercepted aircraft and people on the ground.

Flares burn out quickly and completely and there is no danger to the people on the ground when dispensed. The civilian aircraft was intercepted at approximately 3:20 p.m. Eastern Time.

The pilot was unresponsive and the Cessna subsequently crashed near the George Washington National Forest, Virginia. NORAD attempted to establish contact with the pilot until the aircraft crashed.”

So it was a sonic boom that shook the ground as this F-16 flew to intercept the unresponsive cessna. I honestly had no idea a sonic boom could do that. The F-16 must’ve been pretty low to the ground.

While I hate that the pilot died, I am very glad the incident wasn’t something more malicious.

UPDATE: It turns out there were four people on board. And this was a Cessna corporate business jet:

CNN – Four people were on board the aircraft, which overshot its planned destination by 315 miles before crashing, sources familiar with the investigation said.

Search efforts were still underway by state and local authorities Sunday evening, Virginia State Police told CNN.

State police were notified around 3:50 p.m. of a possible aircraft crash in the Staunton/Blue Ridge Parkway region, the agency said.

Nothing has been located at this time, it added.

The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter it was investigating the crash.

This adds another level of pain to what happened. I just can’t imagine being trapped on a jet with a pilot who is unresponsive.

I should also say I assumed above that the pilot died (and now his passengers) given that the pilot was unresponsive to the crash. As of this time it has not been confirmed.

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