The pilot of a Typhoon military jet has apologised today after he accidentally fired an Exocet missile into Basildon Town Centre shortly after taking off from London Southend Airport.

Lt Cpl Cpt Dave Capten was on his way to a display in Eastbourne when he mistook the ‘missile launch’ button for a built-in Nespresso coffee maker that had recently been installed.

He said, ‘Shortly after taking off, I suddenly had the urge for a Mocha Grande, and so I pressed what I thought was the button that warms up the Nespresso boiler tank.’

‘However, I was horrified when one of the missiles flew off and hit Basildon – I keep telling them that we don’t need to have them fitted for Airshow displays but we may lose our munitions budget if we leave them behind.’

‘The worst thing was that I was forced to launch the one on the other side as well to maintain balance.’

‘I believe it hit somewhere called ‘Pitsea’ but initial video evidence on the ground is inconclusive.’