A woman was escorted off a commercial aircraft in a hijack scare after she allegedly "rushed the cockpit" and threatened to kill passengers.

Two RAF Typhoon fighter jets were scrambled to intercept the Jet2 Airbus 321 - creating a sonic boom that startled residents in south-east England.

The "intoxicated" woman was pinned to a seat by cabin crew and passengers.

The Turkey-bound flight was escorted back to Stansted Airport, where a 25-year-old female passenger was arrested for disrupting the flight.

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The sonic boom from the Typhoon fighters was heard across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, with police receiving dozens of 999 calls at about 6.40pm from people reporting that their houses were "shaking" and that there had been a "loud explosion".

Passenger Pete Cory tweeted: "I'm on the flight at London Stansted Airport that has caused the disruption. It was a drunken passenger and the military was called in, a miscommunication. Everything is fine."

Another Twitter user, Owain Astles, wrote: "Passenger was disruptive and had a 'suspect package'. RAF jets came to escort plane to the ground. Apparently a misunderstanding about a passenger, all safe."

A woman was arrested on suspicion of two assaults and endangering an aircraft.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "We were made aware of a disruptive passenger. Officers arrested a 25-year-old woman who remains in custody."

Amy Varol, who was two rows behind, told The Sun: "The cabin crew grabbed her to stop her and then she starts scratching them and hitting them.

"She then got pinned to the floor by cabin crew and passengers and a passenger even sat on her."

The incident occurred on a Jet2 flight to Turkey. Photo / 123RF
The incident occurred on a Jet2 flight to Turkey. Photo / 123RF

The 24-year-old community care worker said the woman made threats.

"She kept getting up and running back towards the door," Varol said.

"She had six people sitting on her. We had to fly back to Stansted for the police to get her.

"She kept singing songs and screaming she's gonna kill us, 'I want to get off', 'I'm gonna f***ing hit you', 'f***ing come on then'.

"I was terrified. There's nothing you can do, you can't escape."

The drama was said to have caused minor delays at Stansted but a spokesman said the airport was operating normally.