US fighter aircraft set off a sonic boom that rattled the Washington area on Sunday as it chased an unresponsive Cessna jet that had flown over the region and then later crashed in Virginia.
The plane, a Cessna 560 Citation V, was unresponsive when hailed by authorities as it flew over Washington and northern Virginia, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said in a statement. No survivors were found when rescuers got to the wreckage, the Associated Press reported.
The NORAD aircraft deployed to respond to the Cessna “were authorized to travel at supersonic speeds and a sonic boom may have been heard by residents of the region,” according to the statement. NORAD aircraft also used flares, which may have been visible from the ground, in an attempt to draw the pilot’s attention, the agency said.
The US Capitol Complex was briefly placed on elevated alert until the airplane left the region, US Capitol Police said. Airspace near Washington has been highly restricted since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and New York’s World Trade Center.
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