Makaraka residents awoke with a start yesterday as a loud explosion rattled windows in the area.

Tony Walker said his first thought when he heard and felt the shock wave at about 6.10am was that something had hit his family's house.

"All our neighbours in Granny Tarr and Tory Street also thought something had hit their house. When I heard it I looked out the window and saw someone had a fire going and thought it may have been an aerosol can or something, but it sounded more like a sonic boom.

"It's not the first one, either - there was one around Christmas and it broke a mirror in the house."

Another Makaraka resident, Roger Handford, thought it sounded more earthbound.

"It wasn't coming from above, and it was too powerful to be fireworks. It sounded like it was contained and there was a definite jolt."

A loud bang that was heard over a wide area last summer turned out to be young men playing with acetylene near Back Ormond Road, although Mr Walker did not think the explosion he heard was acetylene.

"I know what acetylene bombs sound like - I thought this explosion sounded more like a sonic boom."