A loud explosion sound thought to be a sonic boom has been heard over Leicestershire which plane spotters believe came from a military jet.

The sound was also reported across Northamptonshire and by people in Banbury and Oxford.

Leicestershire Police said it had received “numerous calls” but there was no need for concern.

On social media, plane spotters suggested the sound may have come from an RAF Typhoon fighter jet scrambling to intercept another aircraft in distress.

Aarondeep Mann, 22, heard the bang in Houghton-on-the-Hill, Leicestershire, and said his first thought was it may have been a gas explosion.

“It was the most random, loud thing we’ve ever heard as we were clearing the boot of the car out,” Mr Mann, a practice manager, told the PA news agency.

“First thoughts were that it could be a gas pipe explosion.

“All the neighbours came out as the houses were practically shaking.”

The RAF’s Airbus Voyager, the air force’s only in-flight refuelling plane, was being tracked by at least 1,440 people on Flightradar24 – a site that tracks aircraft in real time.

A statement published by Leicestershire Police said: “We have received numerous calls in relation to a large explosion sound heard from various parts of the city and county.

“We like to reassure you that there is no concern however thank you for your immediate response to us.”

The MoD was contacted for comment.

A sonic boom is caused when planes fly faster than the speed of sound, which at ground level is around 761mph.

When travelling at this speed, also known as Mach 1, the aircraft displaces the air and creates pressure waves that become compressed and then released in a shock wave.

As long as the aircraft is flying at Mach 1 it will generate continuous sound waves, known as a boom carpet.

An aircraft flying at 20,000 feet would create a sonic boom cone 20 miles wide.