Wed | May 23, 2018

London City Airport shuts down due to unexploded WWII bomb

Published:Tuesday | February 13, 2018 | 12:06 AM
Planes on the apron at London City Airport which has been closed after the discovery of an unexploded Second World War bomb was found in the nearby River Thames, yesterday. (AP)

 

LONDON (AP):

 All flights in and out of London City Airport were cancelled yesterday after a 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) unexploded World War II bomb was found nearby in the River Thames.

The Metropolitan Police service cleared an area within 214 meters (700 feet) of the bomb, including several residential streets, as officers worked with specialists from the Royal Navy to remove the device.

Police said the German bomb was discovered Sunday at the George V Dock during pre-planned work at City Airport. They described it as a 1.5-meter (5-foot) shell that was lying in a bed of dense silt.

"The first stage of the removal operation is to free the shell from the silt so that it can be floated for removal," police said in a statement.

After that, navy bomb-disposal experts will tow it away and destroy it underwater in a controlled explosion.

Local officials offered emergency accommodations to residents, although some refused to leave their homes.

Airport CEO Robert Sinclair said he recognised that passengers will be inconvenienced but said the airport was cooperating fully with authorities "to resolve the situation as quickly as possible."

Sinclair said later that he expected the airport to reopen today.