F-15 Fighter Jet Breaks Sound Barrier, Rattles Illinois Residents Who Flood 911 With Calls

A sonic boom that left many central Illinois residents fearful was caused by an F-15 fighter jet.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency confirmed that an F-15 EX Strike Eagle fighter jet broke the sound barrier while in flight Tuesday morning. The pressure wave that resulted from the break created a loud booming noise and shaking that seemingly came from nowhere. "This kicked off an immediate collaboration between federal, state and local officials to identify the impact and source of the incident," according to IEMA.

"It shook the windows, it shook the house, I felt the floor vibrate," said resident Cindy Ford. "I felt it was either a huge accident out front or something had blown up very near my house."

The jet broke the barrier at 11:20 A.M. At the time, residents began frantically calling authorities to try and figure out what they heard. Decatur Fire Department Deputy Chief Dan Kline told local newspaper The Herald & Review that calls from concerned residents began flooding their 911 lines. Kline wasn't entirely sure where it had come from, as it sounded like something dropped onto the roof of his fire station.

"I went up on the roof of Station One after we heard it and looked around but didn't see any smoke or anything," he explained. Kline also elaborated on just how wide-spanning the noise was. It allegedly could be heard from the other side of town.

"I live on the west side of town and I got calls from my neighborhood and our administrative assistant lives on the east side of town and she got calls from her neighborhood," he explained to The Herald & Review, "so it was heard from east to west."

Illinois was not the only state that had heard the blast. News station KODE 12 said that the breaking of the sound barrier could also be heard throughout Branson, Missouri, although it was less prominent than in Kansas. Thankfully, other than some rattling windows, no damages were reported as a result of the blast.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

F15 Eagle
A US Air Force (USAF) F-15E Eagle fighter jet, is pictured as it prepares to land at RAF (Royal Air Force) Lakenheath, east of England, on June 15, 2020. Photo by Chris Radburn/AFP via Getty Images