Illustrative image of a Rafale military aircraft, – ERIC PIERMONT / AFP
A “boom”, a “loud noise”, a “sick bang”. This Friday morning, many residents of western France expressed their concern after hearing a noise resembling an explosion.
Very quickly, rumors spread, in particular on social networks: in the Nantes region, several Internet users spoke, for example, wrongly, of the explosion of a factory located in Couëron. In fact, more fear than harm: it was a Rafale plane of the French Navy, which left Corrèze for Brittany, which broke the sound barrier, learns 20 Minutes corroborating sources.
The plane flew over Niort
“A fighter plane programmed and authorized by the military authorities to fly over Niort and its surroundings broke the sound barrier this Friday, around 10:35 am, above the Niort-Marais-Poitevin aerodrome,” indicates the city in a press release. In flight at level 420 (about 14,000 meters), it caused a deafening noise and a feeling of earthquake or explosion depending on the location, over part of the city. The cold, dry weather allowed the shock wave to spread quickly and intensely. »Contacted by 20 Minutes, the maritime prefecture indicates that “the pilot had received the authorization to go to supersonic speed, the conditions allowing it perfectly.”
In addition, the Loire-Atlantique gendarmerie confirms that no incident was noted in Couëron. She recalls that the “same phenomenon” was observed in Paris at the end of September, again causing a feeling of panic.