Mysterious ‘explosions’ heard around Wichita area

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WICHITA, Kansas – Sedgwick County emergency dispatchers report receiving numerous reports of explosions from various locations around Wichita Saturday.

Those calls began coming in at 1 p.m. They came from citizens at:

  • 5400 Block of S. Santa Fe
  • 1100 Block of E. 31st Street S.
  • 5100 block of S. Ash
  • 1900 block of E. Pine Bay

Several viewers sent KSN emails saying they heard a loud boom and felt their homes shake.

One viewer who lives near Hillside and Mt. Vernon in southeast Wichita said in an email, “At 1 p.m. we felt the house shake violently accompanied by a loud bang.  Everything looks fine, but we wonder what it was.”

A person who lives in Haysville also reported the incident.  “Shaking of house loud boom sound around 1 p.m. Forest Ct. in Haysville.”

A KSN viewer in Derby reported hearing a loud boom followed by the shaking of her house at about 1:02 p.m.

A Derby viewer said she spoke with a friend near 47th Street South and Broadway who also heard what sounded like an explosion.

Another viewer who lives in the 3300 block of S. Oak St. wrote asking if there had been an earthquake at 1:05 p.m.

It appears the boom was not an earthquake since no earthquakes were recorded in Kansas or Oklahoma by the US Geological Survey at the times the booms were heard.

“I was told that we could contact command post about what people heard,” says McConnell Airman First Class Christopher Thornbury. “And, they don’t have any information on that event. Nobody at the base has knowledge at this time of what it could have been.”

KSN asked a McConnell spokesperson if it could have been a “sonic boom” from an airplane. He said no one there knows what caused the booms.

While it remains a mystery, what caused the questionable sound has a lot of people wondering.

“just made you wonder what it could be. I wasn’t sure what in the world could make the house shake like that besides an earthquake, and they were saying it’s not, and I’m like, okay, well then what was that?” said Wichitan, Aimee Brown.

Emergency dispatchers also told KSN News Westar Energy reports the company has had no power outages.  That was confirmed by a visit to the company’s online power outage map.

Police and firefighters dispatched to the various locations reported to dispatchers uncovered no signs of any explosions or fires.

MAP OF LOCATIONS OF LOUD BOOMS

Map showing locations of loud "booms" heard in Wichita on Jan. 16, 2016. (KSN Map)
Map showing locations of loud “booms” heard in Wichita on Jan. 16, 2016. (KSN Map)

 

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