Residents of the US federal capital, Washington, and its suburbs, reported that they heard a loud sound that shook windows and walls for miles, raising a wave of questions on social media.
A sonic boom echoed in Washington Sunday, officials told AFP, as two fighter jets scrambled to intercept an unresponsive plane that later crashed in rural Virginia.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a statement that the two F-16 fighters responded to an unresponsive Cessna 560 Citation V over Washington, DC and Northern Virginia.
A Pentagon official told AFP that the two planes took off from Andrews Joint Base, and followed the plane, which then crashed in a mountainous area in southwest Virginia, one of the states bordering Washington.
A White House official said President Joe Biden was informed of the incident, but did not specify if any emergency measures were taken in its aftermath. And Sunday, Biden was in the area spending some time at the White House and playing golf before heading out to dinner.
The Federal Aviation Administration, for its part, stated that the civilian plane took off from Elizabethton, Tennessee, and was heading to Long Island in New York.
Netizens on Twitter posted the path of the small plane as it headed toward the no-fly zone over Washington.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command said in a statement that the two NORAD fighters were “allowed to fly at supersonic speeds, and residents of the area may have heard a sonic boom.”
The Federal Aviation Administration said the unresponsive plane crashed near Montebello, Virginia, about 170 miles southwest of the capital.
NORAD said she tried to contact the pilot until the plane crashed. Several US media reported that the military did not shoot down the plane. There was no immediate information about the pilot or who was on board.