London City Airport closed as Royal Navy bomb squad pictured defusing unexploded 500kg WW2 bomb

ROYAL Navy bomb experts speed out to the site of a massive 500kg unexploded WWII bomb that closed London City Airport today.

More than 100 departures have been cancelled after the discovery in a dock beside the runway yesterday morning forced a 700ft exclusion zone to be put in place.

The device was found in the River Thames at George V Dock during £400million extension work at the airport.

Royal Navy disposal teams worked through the night and continued this morning to try to disarm and remove the bomb.

People living inside the zone were evacuated from their homes overnight, while police set up a number of road cordons in Newham.

Passengers were tolf not to travel to the airport until further notice and check with the airlines for specific flight information.

On the trains, Docklands Light Railway services between Pontoon Dock and Woolwich Arsenal have been suspended.

Newham Council said the bomb was a German 500kg fused device and warned work to deal with it would last until Tuesday.

In a statement, the council said: "Officers are assisting with a controlled evacuation of people in this exclusion area.

"Affected at this stage are parts of Holt Road, Leonard Street, Lord Street, Newland Street, Tate Road, Muir Street and Kennard Street.

"Some residents have chosen to remain in their homes and others have made arrangements to stay with friends or family.

"A rest centre has been opened and Transport for London are ferrying people to it

"Work will not start on lifting and removing the device until the initial 214-metre zone is clear.

"When work starts to remove it, it is expected the exclusion zone will be extended to 250 metres and more properties will need to be evacuated."

Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City Airport: "The airport remains closed this morning following the discovery of a World War Two ordnance in King George V Dock on Sunday.

"All flights in and out of London City on Monday are cancelled and an exclusion zone is in place in the immediate area.

"I urge any passengers due to fly today not to come to the airport and to contact their airline for further information.

"I recognise this is causing inconvenience for our passengers, and in particular some of our local residents.

"The airport is cooperating fully with the Met Police and Royal Navy and working hard to safely remove the device and resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”

A Met Police spokesman said: "The ordnance was discovered as part of pre-planned work at London City Airport and reported to the police at 5:06am on Sunday, 11 February.

"Specialist officers and the Royal Navy have attended and confirmed the nature of the device.

"The operation to remove the ordnance is ongoing in partnership with our colleagues in the Royal Navy.

"At 10pm, an operational decision was made with the Royal Navy to implement a 214m (230 yard) exclusion zone to ensure that the ordnance can be safely dealt with whilst limiting any risk to the public.

"There will also be disruption to inbound and outbound flights during the operation. London City Airport are urging passengers to contact their airline before travelling."

London City Airport is the 14th busiest in the UK with 4,540,000 passengers in 2017, according to data from the Civil Aviation Authority.” target=”_blank” title=”Click to share on Twitter

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